Channel migrant crisis: French police dismantle a camp in Dunkirk

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Published on 30 Nov 2021, 15:40
Police on Tuesday tore down a makeshift camp near the northern French port of Dunkirk where scores of migrants who say they are fleeing war, poverty and persecution in the Middle East were hunkered down with hopes of reaching Britain.

Armed officers entered the camp, which runs along a disused railway line, before workers in protective suits pulled down tents and plastic shelters.

Charity workers say the 27 migrants who drowned in the Channel last Wednesday had stayed in the same area before they attempted the perilous sea crossing from France to Britain. Their dinghy deflated in the open sea.

Evictions at the Grande-Synthe site had been taking place on a weekly basis for the past few weeks, one charity worker said.

The French prime minister is preparing to offer Boris Johnson a post-Brexit deal with the EU on migration after the deaths of 27 migrants in the Channel last week.

Jean Castex will write to Mr Johnson on Tuesday after days of verbal clashes between the UK and France which saw Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, disinvited from a Calais summit of interior ministers to discuss the Channel migrant crisis.

Gerald Darmanin, Ms Patel's French counterpart, also said France was prepared to resume discussions this week but added that he would only do so once the "double talk" in London had stopped.

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