HC Deb 05 June 1991 vol 192 c235W
Mr. David Shaw

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the recent attempt by French demonstrators to enter England through the channel tunnel; what measures were taken to resist this incursion; and what measures are to be taken to restrict access to the channel tunnel to authorised persons only.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

On the night of 16 May, an organised group of men gained unauthorised access to the channel tunnel in an apparent attempt to walk to the United Kingdom. They turned back at the ventilation fan station, where the way had been blocked by TML, the construction contractors. They used no violence and caused no damage. On leaving the tunnel at the French end, they were interviewed by French police but not detained. The French and United Kingdom authorities were in close contact throughout the incident.

The access control arrangements for the United Kingdom and French terminals have been approved by the channel tunnel intergovernmental commission as appropriate to the tunnel's current status as a private construction site. All security arrangements relating to the tunnel are subject to the approval of the United Kingdom and French Governments and are kept under review.

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