Migrants clashed with French police in the Dunkirk area on Saturday, throwing rocks at officers as they were apparently preparing to try to reach the UK illegally.
Footage filmed by Mark White of GB News showed violent scenes break out on in the municipality of Gravelines, near Dunkirk on Saturday. Hundreds of prospective illegal Channel boat migrants — many already wearing life jackets — were seen trying to repel French police by throwing rocks and sticks at the officers, who in turn fired tear gas towards the group.
The tensions reportedly flared up after French Compagnies républicaines de sécurité (CRS) officers had slashed inflatable life boats on the coast and prevented other migrants from setting sail to the UK.
BREAKING – Channel migrants clash with French police near Dunkirk, as authorities frustrate their attempts at a mass launch of small boats this weekend, after almost a fortnight in which bad weather prevented any Channel crossings. pic.twitter.com/S2gYT5iTlz
— Mark White (@markwhiteTV) November 12, 2022
Speaking to the broadcaster, a local source said that while there has been a lull in the crossings, UK and French authorities are “fully expecting a mass launch of small boats” as weather, particularly wind, conditions improve in the coming days after it has prevented any large crossings over the past two weeks.
“We’re going to see vastly improved weather conditions this weekend, with the winds dying right down until Monday. It’s a three-day weather window the people smugglers will take full advantage of, as the suitable days for crossing will become far fewer as we head into the winter months.”
‘Breaking Point’ — No Room for ‘Local Children’ in Schools Amid Migrant Crisis, Say Local Officialshttps://t.co/oYvNpU0EoJ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 4, 2022
Commenting on the scenes witnessed in Dunkirk, Reform UK leader Richard Tice said: “These appear more like nasty thugs, not victims of war zones. We do not want them in the UK at all, let alone in our cosy hotels at our taxpayer expense.”
The right-wing populist party has been surging in recent polls, likely driven in large part as a result of the Conservative government’s failures to tackle the migrant crisis, with a separate poll this week finding that nearly nine in ten (87 per cent) Britons believe that the government has been performing badly in terms of immigration.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government is said to be working to strike another deal with France to supposedly stem the tide of boats launching across the Channel. According to a report from The Telegraph, the UK would pay the French another £60 million — on top of the hundreds of millions already sent — to finance more gendarmes and volunteer officers.
Riot Police Called as Migrants Armed with ‘Knives and Wood’ Stage ‘Protest’ at London Detention Centre https://t.co/T4YpkfAzFY
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 5, 2022
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka