The ‘Great’ Wall of Calais
The latest ‘great idea’ to come out of the UK: build a one kilometre concrete wall to keep out refugees who are living in the ‘jungle’ camp of Calais. The £2 million, 13-foot-high wall will, according to the authorities, control immigration and improve safety around the French port, which has become a hub for migrants who are trying to cross the English Channel. This ongoing problem has caused significant delays to the supply chain and it continues to get worse, causing arguments between British and French authorities, trucking associations and transport providers. The situation has become so bad that some truck drivers are travelling much further distances to other ports, such as Rotterdam in the Netherlands, which is costing millions. Yes, this has to stop. However, this Trump-esque security plan will not solve our problems, it will only push them further down the road.
The Jungle is home to over 10,000 asylum seekers, living in some of the worst conditions imaginable, who have sparked conflict with locals and truckers passing through. Inhabitants have been intercepting trucks to jump on board and smuggle themselves into the UK, which has brought major disruptions to port operations, along with injuries to truck drivers and, most recently, the death of a 14-year-old Afghan boy who was trying the enter the country. Things have been getting out of hand for too long now, and cooperation between the British and French has fallen short of expectations as problems continue to rise. This needs to stop and, although we are seeing investment into the area, it is not being utilised effectively.
By building a wall, you are just pushing problems further down the road and nothing will change. In fact, problems could become worse, as you are essentially creating a prison around the refugee camp, which will fuel even more violence and disruption through forcing more dangerous alternatives to get across. People smuggling is nothing new, yet we still allow this out of control environment, especially in a Western European region. It is astonishing. We should be investing in security and resources around the port, not creating a detention centre. The automotive industry must play its part in the redevelopment of the area, working alongside authorities to regain control of the area. If not, logistics in the region will continue to diminish and, soon, no trucks are going to pass through Calais, adding even more weight onto our post-Brexit shoulders.
Alex Kreetzer - News Editor
Simon Duval Smith
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