DFDS Calais to Dover ferry service will not be in operation until after July 10th. Until then, all ships will depart from Dunkirk instead. In addition to hopping onto trucks, immigrants are now attempting to get to Great Britain through the channel tunnel. Last week the trains that use the channel tunnel had to sit still for hours due to 150 illegal immigrants who stormed the tunnel.
Union talks Thursday
On Tuesday afternoon train traffic was halted after a migrant was killed while attempting to free-ride a train. The waiting time in France is 4 hours and in Great Britain 1 hour. French media has reported that union discussions have been postponed to July 16th.
The channel tunnel is one of the main supply lines between the British islands and continental Europe. To alleviate the inconvenience of delays, the Luxembourg freight carrier, Cargolux, flew to Britain from Luxembourg last Saturday July 4th with 100 tons of goods.
Four day strike costs the trade sector £1 billion British pounds
Transport Online posted an open letter from Chief Executive Tim Waggott from the Port of Dover. In this letter he explains the impact of the strike due to the MyFerryLink employees for the Port of Dover. Waggott emphasizes the importance of the port for the British economy. According to the director, every year the Port of Dover transports goods worth 100 billion British pounds, "In only four days the actions in Calais have already cost the British economy 1 billion British pounds."
"Do not let this happen again"
Waggott is surprised by the massive traffic jams and delays in major international ports like Calais that have been caused by a small group of Frenchmen on strike. The director of the port stressed that there is no substitute for the Port of Dover, "No other port can process 2.5 million trucks and 13 million passengers per year. Moreover, the employees at the Port of Dover have worked tirelessly throughout the strike, and there is a great amount of teamwork going on to be able to deal with the situation in Calais, but it has taken a lot out of the organization."
"This is not about mega-truck parking; its about nation trading"
"This is not a migration issue, nor should this lead to navel-gazing and meaningless statements about the need for mega-truck parking. This is a discussion about maintaining our trading nation. What we have recently seen is the stark reality of what happens if Dover is prevented from doing it's job because of the lawless actions of others."
Less illegals in the 'Hook of Holland'
There is also some good news. According to Secretary of State Klaas Dijkhof, there have only been 10 illegal immigrants found in the 'Hook of Holland' since mid-June. In the first half of this year 220 illegal immigrants were captured. The British government reports that 39,000 illegal crossings were prevented last year alone. That is double the arrests from the year prior.