Calais: Labour calls for UK businesses and families to be compensated for losses

During a weekend of intense political debate concerning the ongoing turmoil in Calais, the Labour Party’s interim leader Harriet Harman MP urged the Prime Minister to demand compensation from the French government for UK businesses and families affected by the escalating situation.

In an open letter to David Cameron, Ms Harman offered the opinion that the UK government had ignored repeated warnings from Labour and hauliers about the growing crisis in Calais.  She further identified that the Road Haulage Association (RHA) had ‘made clear the impact of the current crisis at Calais’, while the Freight Transport Association (FTA) had estimated ‘the cost to haulage companies caught up in the operation to be £700,000 a day’.

The acting Labour leader also condemned the Prime Minister’s approach as being ‘devoid of any serious solution to the crisis’, while also criticising his ‘failure’ to ‘initiate any diplomatic pressure on the French government to assess asylum claims and make sure proper immigration procedures are followed’.

In response, Downing Street reiterated the government’s concern over the plight facing hauliers and businesses and that David Cameron was “doing everything possible to get things moving again.”

Ms Harmon’s intervention came only a day after Freight Industry Times asked readers to share their thoughts, opinions and experiences of the crisis in Calais.  Readers are invited to respond online to the question: Should UK businesses be compensated for losses as a result of the ongoing crisis in Calais?

In another move, RHA has launched a mass petition aimed at restoring law and order in Calais, to put an end to Operation Stack and to stop the misery for hundreds of thousands of holiday makers planning to cross the Channel.

RHA Chief Executive Richard Burnett explained: “I am calling for everybody in the country to sign the online petition at www.rhaactnow.uk.net as every name added makes our campaign stronger.”