UKIP’s Defence Spokesman Mike Hookem MEP has slammed French government plans to build a “massive” refugee camp near an existing shanty town in Grande-Synthe, Dunkirk, saying the French were “kidding themselves” if they thought the new £1.1 million centre would “defeat people traffickers and protect truck drivers in the port region”.
Mr Hookem, who was threatened with a gun in the nearby Teteghem refugee camp in August last year, said; “Congregating migrants in one massive camp is exactly the wrong thing to do and will put extra pressure on police, port security, Immigration officials and truckers in the region.
“In fact these plans will essentially make the entire Dunkirk-Calais region an absolute no-go area for British hauliers.
“All the French authorities are doing by placing their first official refugee centre for 13 years near the port links to Britain is making it easier for people trafficking gangs to operate and creating the perfect recruiting ground for extremists.
“The French are kidding themselves if they think these plans will defeat people traffickers, as from my experience in many of the camps spread across northern France, the authorities quickly lose any control of who is using them and any semblance of law and order.
“I don’t expect this new ‘super camp’ to be any different and I think these poses a direct risk to the UK’s security. We have already had reports of IS infiltrating the larger unofficial camps such as the ‘Jungle’ in Calais, and these places are perfect recruiting grounds for extremists.
“Since my last visit to the region in October, I have been contacted by numerous hauliers and lorry drivers who have told me the situation in northern France and particularly in the Dunkirk area continues to spiral out of control, with drivers not just been threatened by migrants, but on several occasions attacked.
“It is about time the British and French governments and the EU got a grip of this situation; implemented their own laws and ended the crazy situation where totally unchecked, economic migrants are left to freely laugh at the police, terrorise hauliers and present a clear and present danger to our security.”