Brussels eurocrats to publish selfhelp manual for undersiege truckers in Calais


The handbook – an “action plan on migrant smuggling” – will offer hauliers “best practice advice” on minimising the risk of stowaways in lorries.

The astonishing revelation came after Ukip MEP Mike Hookem accused the European Commission of “putting EU rules above the safety of haulage drivers”.

Machete-wielding migrants have turned Calais into a “war zone” with truckers saying they have to cheat death to keep Britain moving.

During 12-months of chaos gangs have targeting UK-bound freight with drivers threatened at knifepoint, beaten and their trailers torn to shreds as armed refugees run amok.

Some companies now avoid the gauntlet of hate and avoid the port altogether.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA), which represents British truckers, said it was “only a matter of time” before one was killed.

European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos denied the Schengen Area had assisted people trafficking and turned transport routes into gauntlets.

But a promise to publish a handbook provoked fury this side of the Channel after months of well-documented running battles in Calais.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “Publishing a guidance booklet next year is not going to make any difference to the current crisis at Calais.

“We stand by our call for the deployment of the French military in and around the port now. Only they have the resources needed to stop this migrant mayhem. Failure to do so means it”s only a matter of time before a British bound driver is seriously hurt or even killed.”

Many blame the lack of border controls for vast numbers of migrants being able to make their way to France and Belgium from southern Europe.

Mr Hookem, who was threatened with a gun last summer during a visit to a migrant camp near Dunkirk, claimed the failure to re-impose border checks put “EU rules above the safety of haulage drivers”.

He said: “For many months, British drivers have been trying to get their voices heard as their lorries are ruined, their cargo damaged and their lives in danger as they are threatened with crowbars and other weapons.

“The reason these people can get to camps in Calais, Dunkirk and now Zeebrugge is because of Schengen and the EU becoming a borderless zone which naturally facilitates the illegal movement of people.”

One trucker called the “action plan” a joke, adding: “We need physical help, not a bit of paper to cover up the fact they are doing nothing.”

Some £89billion worth of UK trade passes through Calais each year but violence engulfing the port is now so bad many haulage companies are avoiding it altogether.

Two thirds of haulage companies claim they have bene forced to change routes or schedules to avoid the crisis in Calais.

Ukip employment spokeswoman Jane Collins said: “By the time the European Commission get round to doing anything there won”t be any British people working in haulage, just foreign lorry drivers in old British trucks working for the people traffickers.”

The EC said: “The Commission will develop, by 2017, a handbook on prevention of migrant smuggling, including, possibly, codes of conduct for drivers and operators of merchant and fishing vessels. This will present best practices on promoting security measures and adequate controls by public institutions and business operators to prevent clandestine migration.

“The Commission will also explore the development of guidelines on migrant smuggling for border authorities and consular services.”