Belgium stops more than 1,700 migrants on their way to the UK

TMP – 05/03/2017

Belgian authorities have said that as many as 1,736 migrants have been stopped in the past four months on the country’s border with France attempting to make their way to the UK. According to the Belgian Minister of Internal Affairs Jan Jambon, the migrants were stopped as part of a planned operation launched last October.

The operation was set up when authorities knew the French were in the process of closing the migrant camp in Calais, which housed thousands of people who were hoping to reach the UK.

Some of the migrants had been exploiting a loophole with the Schengen agreement, which allowed people in Brussels to board the Eurostar train without showing a passport, if they bought a ticket to France. Due to the lack of checks it was then possible for migrants to stay on the train and carry on to London.

This is no longer possible according to rail authorities, as passengers from Brussels to France now have to be seated in a particular part of the train, which is fully blocked off from the rest of the train, with personnel making sure everyone gets off in Lille, France.