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Mayors threaten to close motorway car parks due to issues with transit migrants

As was the case in September 2018 a number of Mayors are threatening to close the motorway car parks that are within their respective municipalities. Now the Mayors of Wommelgem and Mol (both Antwerp Province) say that transit migrants en route to the UK are causing problems in their areas. The Interior Minister in Belgium’s caretaker government Pieter De Crem (Flemish Christian democrat) says that measures are already being taken to address the issues raised.  

Transit migrants hoping to start a new life in the UK often try to break into and board the trailers of lorries that are parked up at Belgian motorway service stations.

The Mayor of Wommelgem Frank Gys (Flemish nationalist) is now threatening to close the parking facility along the E313 while the Mayor of Mol Wim Caeyers (Christian democrat) wants to do the same thing the same thing at the lorry park along the E34, near to the Dutch border in Postel.   

Interior Minister responds

The Federal Interior Minister Pieter De Crem (Flemish Christian democrat) told VRT News that the number of transit migrants is still rising. He added that this could be due to Brexit becoming approaching. Many migrants are trying to reach the UK before it leaves the EU.   

Mr De Crem says that he now intends to contact both Mayors to discuss their concerns. He also intends to visit a number of parking facilities along the motorways.

The Interior Minister adds that a number of measures have already been taken. One of these is the stationing of a Belgian “liaison officer” in London, who watches over the exchange of data regarding security between the UK and Belgium”.

"Around 40 people have been taken on to deal with issues arising from the Brexit”, Mr De Crem said before adding that measure are being taking to resolve the issue of understaffing at the Highway Police. .  

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