Ending the crisis that has seen thousands of attempts by migrants to reach England from Calais in recent weeks is a "top priority", the interior ministers of France and Britain have written in a joint statement.

Both countries are committed to tackling the problem together and have beefed up security to deter further bids by desperate migrants to smuggle themselves to Britain via the Channel Tunnel, said the statement, which was published on Sunday.

Migrants risk lives to cross English Channel

"Tackling this situation is the top priority for the UK and French governments. We are committed and determined to solve this, and to solve it together," Bernard Cazeneuve and his British counterpart Theresa May wrote in a statement published in France's Journal Du Dimanche and in Britain's Telegraph newspaper.

The statement came a day after pro and anti-migrant protesters clashed at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone.

Members of the nationalist English Defence League told Al Jazeera at the protest that they believed there were enough migrants in the UK already.

"We've had enough, we've got enough [migrants] here at the moment - our country is on its knees, we need to concentrate on our veterans and our homeless and our NHS service," one protester said.

"Allowing more and more people into this country is going to deteriorate our system even more."


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Hundreds of migrants have tried to make it into the undersea tunnel in recent weeks in the hopes of finding a way onto a train or lorry headed for Britain. At least 10 migrants have died attempting the dangerous journey since June.

Cazeneuve met May in London on Tuesday to discuss the migrant issue, which has been a thorn in the side of Franco-British relations for years but has taken on fresh urgency following a spike in the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Earlier this week, the British government pledged $11m to improve fencing around the Eurotunnel rail terminal in Coquelles, outside Calais.

And British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has warned that the crisis could last all summer, promised "more fencing, more resources, more sniffer dog teams" to aid French police in their nightly cat-and-mouse game with the migrants.

Source: Al Jazeera And AFP