French interior minister Gérald Darmanin has accused the British authorities of 'a lack of humanity' over their 'completely unsuitable' arrangements for Ukrainian refugees in the French port of Calais where, he said, a lack of consular services led to 150 refugees trying to cross the Channel being told to seek visas in Paris or Brussels.
The identities of 26 of the 27 recorded victims of the sinking in the Channel last month of a boat carrying migrants trying to cross the sea from France to the UK have been identified by the French authorities.
In the French port of Calais, relatives and friends of those lost in the sinking of a dinghy in the Channel last Wednesday, when at least 27 people died as they attempted a clandestine crossing to Britain, are desperate for answers about what happened.
Speaking after a meeting in Calais on Sunday with European counterparts to discuss clandestine migration and people trafficking, following the deaths of at least 27 people trying to cross the Channel to the UK last Wednesday, France's interior minister spoke of the need to cooperate 'seriously' on the issue with London but 'without being held hostage by domestic British politics'.
At least 27 people, including three children and seven women, one of who was pregnant, died in the Channel off the French port of Calais on Wednesday as they attempted to reach Britain in a clandestine journey by dinghy, according to the latest official toll. Sheerazad Chekaik-Chaila reports from Calais on the scenes as recovered bodies were brought to the quayside after the deadliest known tragedy involving migrants attempting to cross the Channel, and one which rescue services warn could be repeated with the arrival of treacherous winter conditions.
For several years, Hassen Bouchakour and his horse Peyo used to compete together in equestrian shows, but they have since entered a radically different world. Peyo, now aged 15, revealed himself to have an unusual empathy towards people in distress, and a remarkable ability to relieve their anxiety. The pair now visit patients, often the terminally ill, at a hospital in Calais, northern France, where Peyo’s comforting close physical presence is so calming for those in pain that it reduces the need for heavy medication. Medics and veterinarians are studying the exceptional character and powers of he who is now called “Dr. Peyo”. Jérémy Lempin reports here in words and pictures.
Tom Ciotkowski, a council worker from Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK, was violently arrested while filming riot police preventing humanitarian volunteers from distributing food to refugees in the northern French town of Calais in July 2018.
The local authorities in the Channel port of Calais, north-west France, anticipate that a return of trade tariffs after Britain’s planned exit from the EU’s single market will revive the cross-Channel ‘booze cruises’ that saw Britons in the 1980s and 1990s day-trip to the town to buy cheap cigarettes, beer and wine on board ferries.
While Britain's transport minister described setting up new post-Brexit controls at its borders as 'utterly unrealistic', France has begun building new customs inspection posts dedicated to UK-exported horses and other large animals in Calais, and another for fish in nearby Boulogne, as part of a 50-million-euro contingency plan announecd last week in the case of a no-deal withdawal of the UK from the European Union.
British Prime Minister Theresa May was in Brussels on Thursday and Friday for a frantic series of meetings to convince EU leaders to provide clarifications over her Brexit deal with Brussels, hoping for their help to obtain parliamentary approval of the agreement reached last month for the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc. But for most observers, the chances of avoiding a hard Brexit before the deadline of next March are receding by the day. In the northern French coastal town of Calais, through which tens of millions of tonnes of goods pass yearly in trade between the UK and the continent, many fear catastrophic consequences of a hard Brexit, with the very likely prospect of the Channel port becoming paralysed. Elisa Perrigueur reports.