A truck driver was threatened with a chainsaw during a night of violence in Calais which the Freight Transport Association (FTA) fears could escalate as numbers in the Jungle Camp swell to more than 7,000 and migrants become more desperate to reach the UK following the Brexit vote.
Migrants set fire to barricades across the motorway to stop trucks and one Belgian driver reported being threatened with a chainsaw as he tried to reach the port. His boss begged authorities: “Please do something, there will be deaths. Our drivers are threatened every night.”
Chris Yarsley, FTA’s EU Affairs Manager, said: “These drivers are just trying to do their job, moving goods from Europe to the UK through the country’s busiest port. Attacks like this are unacceptable and more needs to be done to protect them as they go about their work.”
Despite the Jungle Camp being partially cleared earlier this year, numbers have reportedly swelled to over 7,000 – more than at the peak of last summer’s unrest. The UK’s vote to leave the EU has made some migrants more determined to cross the Channel before any changes to the current border controls.
Mr Yarsley said: “A robust process must be put in place to quickly deal with applications from genuine asylum seekers rather than economic migrants and move them out of the camp. Relocating the camp away from the port would prevent the relentless attacks on commercial vehicles passing close by and allow our members to carry out their job without fear of attack or fines for unwittingly carrying migrants on their trucks.”