Tim Farron visits Calais refugees
Thousands of people have gathered near the port and Eurotunnel terminal at Coquelles to try to reach Britain.
The British Government has sent extra sniffer dogs and fencing to try to bolster security amid frequent incursions from migrants.
Mr Farron, elected as Liberal Democrat leader last month, said he had gone to Calais to “learn about the situation on the ground”.
Speaking to the Guardian, Mr Farron also criticised the Prime Minister for not taking up an invitation to go to Calais himself.
“I would love David Cameron and others to come to places like this and see for themselves the humanity; to see for themselves the children who are here, unaccompanied, orphaned, many of them with desperate medical conditions, desperate psychological conditions that they’ve acquired in the journey to get here, seeing loved ones die on the way. I want us to be able to say that we understand these people before we make decisions.”
The Road Haulage Association
has written to David Cameron, urging him to “witness the mayhem at Calais first hand”.
The Lib Dem leader has previously argued Britain should take part in a pan-EU scheme to relocate people who arrive in Europe after crossing the Mediterranean.
In his comments to the Guardian, Mr Farron hit out at Mr Cameron for his description of the would be migrants as a “swarm”.
“Talking about the refugees here as though they were less than human is pretty despicable on behalf of the UK government,” the Lib Dem leader said.
“But the other way in which the Government is being confrontational is in the way it talks to France and to the other European countries. Surely we should be working together to solve this problem, not throwing bricks at each other.”
I've been in Calais today meeting with refugees and NGO workers to learn about the situation on the ground