Published: 12:30, 03 September 2014 |
Updated: 09:18, 04 September 2014
Cross-Channel sailings from Dover could be disrupted after the mayor of Calais threatened to block its port.
Natacha Bouchart has called for Britain to do more to control the high number of illegal immigrants camping in Calais.
She made the threat to block the port while taking to journalists in Paris when discussing the issue with interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
She said: "I could take the decision to block the port, I could bring pressure to bear.
"It would be illegal, but today I want to make a strong gesture towards the British."
She has said around 1,300 migrants have "taken hostage" of her city in their bid to reach Dover, the gateway to the rest of Britain.
Dover MP Charlie Elphicke tweeted: "Threats of a Calais blockade are barmy and illegal. It would harm trade and the economies of Dover and Calais."
Speaking to KentOnline this morning, he said: "This is a wrong turn - Dover and Calais need to work together to solve this problem, and not have angry words exchanged across the Channel.
"This is not the answer."
A P&O Ferries spokesman said the suggestion of a blockade was unhelpful and such action would have a damaging effect on cross-Channel trade.
The suggestion was a sign of the frustration in Calais where nightly raids on the port by illegal immigrants are now commonplace.
"There needs to be an international political agreement to resolve the whole issue of immigration into the EU, let alone the UK," the spokesman added.
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