UKIP Transport spokesman Jill Seymour has accused the Government of turning a blind eye to growing security problems in Calais, where British lorry drivers are risking their lives running the gauntlet of migrants armed with guns, baseball bats, metal bars and knives.
“The situation has disappeared from the UK news headlines in recent months, but for hauliers who are using the Channel Tunnel, the situation has never been more dangerous,” said the West Midlands MEP.
“My heart goes out to these innocent drivers who are simply trying to make a living, yet finding their cabs coming under attack from increasingly organised and desperate gangs.
“It is an appalling situation, and one which the British and French governments seem content to ignore. The way they are apparently turning a blind eye is absolutely appalling – a disgrace.”
Mrs Seymour was speaking after Merseyside driver Stephen Morecroft revealed he was gassed by migrants who wanted to hide in his lorry in a desperate bid to get into the UK.
He told the BBC that the situation in France had changed, with migrants now routinely seen carrying blades, guns and ammunition.
Mrs Seymour said: “This is a living nightmare for British hauliers, who are already under huge pressure to make a living in a business swamped by legislation, like the EU’s unwanted and unnecessary Certificate of Professional Competence tests.
“Drivers are having rocks hurled at their windscreens as they pass through Calais, and under bridges, and the curtains on their vehicles are being sliced, yet nothing is being done to stop it.
“Is it any wonder that they feel that change will only happen when one of our drivers actually dies as a result of this?
“The desperation of these migrants has now reached the point where they will stop at nothing to cross the Channel. It is up to the security forces to show equal determination to keep our drivers safe.”
An estimated 6,000 people are now staying in tents and shacks in the 'Jungle' camp at Calais.
Mrs Seymour added: “David Cameron insists that Britain will not be a safe haven for migrants from Calais, but it is clear that those who are trying to reach our shores every day simply don’t believe it.
“There is already a recruitment crisis in the UK haulage industry, and if more drivers decide to walk away because they don’t want to get caught up in the migrant flow from Calais, don’t be surprised if some goods are soon in short supply on the shelves of our shops.”