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UK to aid French efforts to stem flow of migrants

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UK to aid French efforts to stem flow of migrants
Riot police push migrants away from trucks on the outskirts of Calais. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP
08:20 CEST+02:00
Britain agreed on Thursday to stump up extra funding to help deal with the worsening migrants crisis around the Channel port of Calais. A campaign will also be launched to try to convince them that Britain is no el dorado.

Britain vowed Thursday to increase its funding to deal with migrants camped out around the northern French port of Calais and
trying to cross the Channel.

Home Minister Theresa May met her French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve in Paris to discuss the issue which has created friction across the Channel.

"Taking into account the worsening migration crisis in the Mediterranean and the repercussions on Calais, where 3,000 migrants are currently based, the two ministers decided to reinforce their cooperation," a joint statement issued after the meeting said.

Moreover, joint information campaigns aimed at explaining to migrants the realities of the British asylum and welfare system, so as to dissuade flows of migrants to the Calais region, will be pursued and stepped up."

No precise figures were given, with the French ministry saying that was still under discussion.

France and Britain signed an agreement last September, creating a fund of five million euros ($5.6 million) per year to help Calais cope with the influx of migrants.

The money was supposed to go to reinforcing security around the port and access to the Channel Tunnel.

The crisis topped the political agenda again in the past fortnight as ferry worker protests at the port led to many migrants breaking into stationary vehicles.

Further talks on immigration and people smuggling are due in London this month.

A record 137,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean from Africa in the first half of 2015, an increase of 83 percent on last year, according to the United Nations.

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