From the UK Express
By Nick Gutteridge
Xavier Bertrand, the freshly elected president of the Calais region in France, told trucker bosses he wants to clear all of the migrants out of the notorious "Jungle" camp and then flatten it.
His promise was met with delight by hard-pressed haulage companies which have lost millions of pounds to the chaos caused by marauding migrants in the lawless port town.
It comes amid growing violence against truckers in Calais, who are being targeted by migrants using increasingly extreme methods in their bid to smuggle themselves into Britain.
Around 10,000 migrants in and around Calais are making nightly bids to reach Britain.
Lorry drivers fear that it is only a matter of time before one of them is killed, with migrants now pushing shopping trolleys off bridges and using rocks, metal bars and knives to break into their vehicles.
With the crisis costing Britain in lost goods and crippling northern France's previously booming tourist trade, Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve today called a meeting with transport bosses to discuss a new response to the crisis.
During the discussions he reiterated his desire, stated earlier this week, to completely dismantle the Jungle camp to restore law and order to Calais.
In an earlier interview Mr Bertrand - who recently beat Marine Le Pen to become the new president of the Nord Pas de Calais Picardie region - told France's Europe 1 television channel he called for a "complete dismantlement" of the notorious camp.
He pledged: "We must not dismantle part of the jungle only for it to just take hold again elsewhere. We will fight until a return to the current norm is not possible.
"Long-term, we must come to a complete dismantling of the Jungle."
He added: "France has not focussed enough attention on Calais. Calais has problems, Calais has projects and we must deal with its problems and its projects."
Earlier this month France announced plans to evict a further 1,000 migrants from the camp, just weeks after its decision to raze a third of the camp to the ground and move thousands of inhabitants into new accommodation.
Both London and Paris agree that migrants living in and around Calais should apply for asylum in France, after which those with relatives in Britain would be allowed to legally cross the channel to settle.
Welcoming Mr Bertrand's announcement, Road Haulage Association (RHA) chief executive Peter Burnett said: "Today’s meeting marked a step towards a concerted effort to eliminate the problems in the Calais area.
“It provided us with an excellent forum to present our case for the urgent need for an effective solution to be sought that will bring relief to the thousands of UK-bound hauliers that are subjected to violence, abuse and intimidation on a regular basis.
"A clear plan is needed which can be measured in terms of delivery and key milestones established as to when the migrant camp will be emptied and finally closed."
He added: “The political and business leadership in the Calais region got a very clear understanding of the extent to which effective policing is needed, not only in the Port and its immediate area but also on the approach roads at some distance from the Port. This is a strong message they will be able to take to the French authorities.”
Meanwhile Europe-wide industry body the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said that the chaos at Calais is costing hauliers an estimated £750,000 every day.
Welcoming today's announcement, FTA Head of European Policy Pauline Bastidon said: "£89billion worth of UK trade passes through the port every year so it’s crucial that we find a solution as a matter of urgency.
“We want to see the camp moved away from the road and the port and Eurotunnel facility secured against migrant incursion. Our members need a safe and secure area to wait with their trucks.”
Britain has spent £7million putting up fencing and dispatching police dog teams to the area, with migrants now increasingly targeting smaller ports including Zebrugge in Belgium where security is more lax.