Socialist Worker

Tories send fence to Calais to shut more migrants out

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2460

barbed wire-topped fence in Calais guarded by cops

Barbed wire-topped fence in Calais guarded by cops (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Tory prime minister David Cameron pledged last week to make Britain a “less easy place for illegal migrants to come to and work in”.

This is part of a whipping up of racism as the European Union (EU) cracks down on migrants from outside its borders. 

In the same speech Cameron slammed the “chaos” in the port of Calais during a lorry drivers’ strike as “totally unacceptable”. 

Britain is sending a two mile-long fence to Calais to make it more difficult for migrants to board lorries and Channel Tunnel services. Many are fleeing the poverty and war caused by Western imperialism. 

Around 3,000 people are now living in desperate conditions in a camp known as the “jungle”. 

This is just one of the fences that is being built across the EU to shut migrants out. 

Cameron used an EU summit dominated by the Greek and refugee crises to outline plans to renegotiate Britain’s “terms of membership” with the EU. 

The main focus for Cameron—and the Tory right—is cracking down on EU migrants. 

Leaked documents from a negotiating team show that he’s abandoned plans to try and limit immigration under stringent EU opposition. 

But that hasn’t stopped him from looking for new ways to attack migrants, with new rules making it harder for them to work and claim benefits. 


Hungary’s right wing EU minister Szabolcs Takacs said, “We don’t like it when Hungarian workers are called migrants. 

They are EU citizens with the freedom to work in other European countries.”

But the Hungarian government is in the middle of a new crackdown on migrants from outside the EU’s borders. 

It has approved the construction of a 110 mile fence on its southern border with Serbia, which is itself negotiating to join the EU. 

This will make the perilous route even more dangerous for desperate refugees fleeing war in the Middle East and North Africa. 

The government has claimed that around 54,000 have crossed the Hungarian border this year compared to 41,000 in 2014. 

Hungary is no longer processing asylum seekers who were registered in the country but have moved since.  

This comes off the back of a racist campaign against migrants and Roma people. 

Right wing prime minister Viktor Orban threatened in April this year to build forced labour camps for “illegal migrants”. 

Meanwhile migrants’ rights campaigners celebrated a setback for the Tories last week. 

The High Court ruled that the fast track process for deporting migrants to countries deemed safe is “structurally unfair”. 

This allowed the government to lock them up in detention prisons with only seven days to appeal before deportation. 


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Tue 30 Jun 2015, 16:20 BST
Issue No. 2460
Share this article



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.