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How will we solve the migrant crisis at Calais?

It was announced today that a young Sudanese man became the ninth migrant since June to die in an attempt to reach the UK from Calais.

It is believed he collided with a transport shuttle in chaotic scenes at the Channel Tunnel entrance, which has also claimed numerous casualties since Monday. Over the last two nights, over 3,000 migrants have attempted to cross the border.

The Home Office has stated the government is committed to spending £7million on fencing at Coquelles, near the tunnel entrance, in a bid to increase security. Speaking after a meeting with French interior minister, Home Secretary Theresa May said, “French and UK governments are working in close collaboration on this issue, which affects us both.” Meanwhile, the French government has increased police presence on their borders.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has today called for French authorities to go further. Speaking to LBC radio, Mr Farage also expressed the need for the British army troops to be brought into Calais, to help a “very overburdened police force and border agency.”

Meanwhile, Lim Dem leader Tim Farron has spoken up against the need to “move in with force,” stating that increased security will not tackle the underlying issue.

We are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Migrants from the war-torn Middle East and North Africa are making perilous journeys in the thousands to Europe, in figures more than double that of 2014. Numbers of those who have drowned trying to reach Italy form Libya have surpassed 2,000, and resulted in a mass increase of boats crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Greece.

The journey does not end when once the boats reach European shoes. Many migrants continue travelling to the French border of Calais, which brings them to the Eurotunnel. The scenes there have widely been reported as chaotic, with images of man-made refugee camps regularly seen in the press.

David Cameron has also spoken out about the events, describing them as “very concerning.” He also expressed sympathy for holidaymakers, who are having difficulties crossing the tunnel due to disturbances. Meanwhile, this occupation of the Eurotunnel is putting a strain on Eurostar travellers, as delays and cancellations are frequent. Eurostar officials are amongst those putting mounting pressure on British and French governments to curb the crisis, but there is no easy answer to how it should be handled, or indeed, whose responsibility it is.

By Trudie Carter

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