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Calais mayor scorns Britain's free fence offer

THE mayor of Calais reacted with scorn today to an offer from the British government of 12 miles of security fencing to help keep out illegal immigrants.

Britain had offered to send fencing used to surround last week’s Nato summit to help the French authorities prevent illegal immigrants boarding ferries.

Mayor Natacha Bouchart joked that she could use the 9-ft steel fences to block all ferry traffic if Britain continued to dismiss her demand to help pay the £12 million annual anti-immigrant policing bill.

Ms Bouchart’s aides said she considered that the offer “reflected a lack of understanding by the British of what we are up against.” 

She said Calais was being “held hostage” by up to 1,500 migrants camped around the port.

“When I first heard, I thought it was the legendary British sense of humour,” said Deputy Mayor Philippe Migonet.

“Calais is stuck in a global problem nobody wants to deal with.”

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