Britain could be facing the biggest surge in illegal immigration after the Brexit vote. People fear a ‘Berlin-style’ wall will be constructed.
Britain’s decision to quit the EU could lead to a summer surge in illegal migrants trying to enter the country from France, the head of Eurotunnel has warned.
Jacques Gounon, the firm’s chief executive and chairman, said Brexit had given migrants a “clear signal” that the Anglo-French border would become “a huge wall, similar to the Berlin Wall, almost impossible to overcome”.
He spoke in Calais as the company unveiled new aerial drones armed with cameras to boost security on the French side of the tunnel by spotting potential trespassers.
Mr Gounon told the Press Association: “I’m afraid that any Brexit consequences could give a threat to migrants that they could be prevented from going to the UK – definitively going to the UK – in the years to come.
“This could generate an additional new migrant pressure, in order for such people, desperately, to reach the UK before Brexit is enforced.
“So I do think and I’m afraid that we could have an increased migrant pressure during this summer, as a Brexit consequence.”
Immigration was a key battleground in the EU referendum campaign, with Nigel Farage unveiling a Ukip poster showing a queue of hundreds of immigrants arriving in Europe with the slogan Breaking Point.
The Calais end of the Channel tunnel has been the focus of attempts by migrants to stow away on vehicles headed for Britain.
Earlier this month aid charities reported that the population at the Jungle camp had risen to 6,123 – up from 5,178 in May – including 700 children.