Article for Tiptree Tribune

The scenes from Calais of migrants attempting to get into Britain have caused shock and alarm. Thousands of migrants are regularly trying to break through border controls on both sides of the Channel to come to live in Britain. Lorries heading back to Britain and the Channel Tunnel itself have been targeted as thousands have gone to great efforts to leave France and cross the Channel. Many constituents have written to me in recent weeks about this matter with serious concerns about the numbers trying to get into the UK, what happens to those who breach the security measures in place and reach our country, and the disruption being caused to Channel Tunnel and ferry services. While Britain should always be a safe haven for those genuinely fleeing persecution, the situation in Calais with so many migrants trying to illegally enter the UK presents a serious risk to law and order.
 
I know that many businesses from Essex who that travel to and from Calais as they deliver goods to the continent are concerned about migrants breaking into their vehicles. They should be able to go about their trading activities, which generate jobs and growth, without facing the daily risks posed in Calais. During the recent industrial action in France, we saw British lorry drivers having their vehicles being targeted relentlessly as they queued to cross the border. Strong action is needed to protect British interests and the Government is already investing in security measures on the French and British sides of the border. 
 
Some £12 million is being invested in security infrastructure, security patrols and staffing levels increased, and heartbeat scanners, sniffer dogs, and thermo-detection cameras are all being used. As a result, tens of thousands of attempts to illegally cross the border are being prevented each year. But as the migrants attempting to come to Britain are becoming more determined, our actions must become more innovative and effective too. This is why the UK is leading efforts internationally to deal with the pressures caused by migration.  
 
There are a wide range of measures and resources which are being used by the Government to address the causes of the migrant crisis. Investment is being made in aid initiatives in Africa to help 2.5 million refugees and vulnerable people while support is being given to assist those displaced by the crisis in Syria. The Government is working with its partners to share information and intelligence to take action against the vile criminal gangs who traffic people and facilitate illegal migration flows. The Government is also pressing for action across the EU to systematically identify migrants on arrival and return those who have no right to remain and do not need international protection to their country of original swiftly and effectively. 
 
Just as it is important that we tackle the causes of the migrant crisis abroad, we must also take strong action to remove migrants who are illegally in the UK and deter people from wanting to get into this country. Over the last five years Conservatives in Government have introduced tough new measures and we are no longer the ‘soft touch’ we once were when Labour were last in Government. Immigration rules have been toughened, bogus colleges closed down, and illegal immigrants are now facing restrictions on accessing public services. Those who traffic, employ, or house illegal migrants also face strong sanctions and penalties. Combined, these actions are making a difference. However, while our country faces pressures caused by immigration, the Government will continue to look at new and effective ways to tightly control migration and protect our borders. 
 

A12/A120 Consultations

Strategic Road Network Consultations

There are two important consultations running at the moment on key strategic road infrastructure improvements - the A12 widening scheme and the upgrading of the A120. Priti has been campaigning to secure new investment in these roads and has welcomed the consultations taking place. Members of the public can review the proposals for the A12 and A120 at the weblinks below, attend consultation events, and respond to the consultation. Feel free to also contact Priti by email to: [email protected] with your views too.

Widening the A12

Upgrading the A120

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