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BRITAIN must not take in any of the migrants massing in France because the country is full, it was claimed last night.

French authorities yesterday finally destroyed the Calais shanty town, known as The Jungle, used by migrants as a launch-pad to Britain.

But Tory politicians urged them to act quickly to ensure those displaced from the newly cleared camp did not simply come straight to the UK.

Critics of yesterday’s operation said that while it was essential the five-year-old camp was knocked down, there seemed no proper plan in place to deal with the 1,000 or so Afghans or Iraqis left homeless.

While some reports said the French would use British taxpayers’ cash to offer the migrants financial incentives to go home, most experts believe they will simply disperse to smaller makeshift camps around the Calais docks and continue their attempt to enter Britain illegally.

Their attitude was summed up by one Afghan immigrant removed from The Jungle yesterday who said: “We’re determined to stay as close to the port as possible because it’s the way to England.

“Nothing will stop us getting there. We are all determined to start a new life in Britain.”

Conservative MP Philip Davies was among those insisting that France should take proper responsibility for the immigrants on its shores rather than pass on the burden to “full-up’’ Britain – but he feared it would not.

He said: “Asylum-seekers are supposed to be dealt with in the first place they come to. If France was fulfilling its international duties they would be dealing with these people.

“It is totally irresponsible to be trying to pass them on to us. Obviously both the French government and the asylum-seekers know how soft we are and that once people are here, however bogus their claims, they will never be kicked out again.

“But we’ve done more than our fair share. We can’t cope with the people we have. There is still a massive backlog of cases, people who have been here years. We need to put the ‘full’ sign up. France is a big enough country. They’ve got lots of room.” Richard Ashworth, Conservative MEP for South-east England, said: “It is now incumbent on the French to deal with illegal immigration at the point of entry and not simply funnel them through, creating this sorry bottleneck along the Pas de Calais and Normandy coasts.”

Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch, said: “Simply closing the camp won’t work. We tried that with Sangatte. I think we have to get to the heart of this problem. We entirely support asylum for genuine cases but it seems Britain is now seen as a soft touch. That’s certainly what the French believe. Why else should people be queueing up in Calais when France is a safe country?”

Yesterday’s raid on The Jungle began at dawn when 500 police officers in dozens of vans and accompanied by bulldozers began circling the wooded waste ground a few hundred yards from the ferry port. In total 278 were arrested and 132 of these claimed they were under 16. All were male. Many more had disappeared overnight, moving to other parts of Calais where they will continue to plan their journeys to Britain in the back of lorries or trains.

The Refugee Council demanded that Britain accept some of the migrants, particularly children, with family connections in the UK.

But immigration minister Phil Woolas said: “These people have no rights to claim asylum in the UK. Indeed, we would question whether they were genuine asylum-seekers.

“If they were fleeing persecution, they have the right to claim asylum in the first country of entry.”

Home Secretary Alan Johnson praised the “swift, decisive” clearing of the site by French authorities.

But he said Britain had ruled out taking the migrants and urged genuine refugees to apply for asylum in the country where they entered the EU, rather than trying to cross the Channel illegally. Groups representing those displaced criticised the French action, saying it would solve nothing. continues here

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