Britain plans to start building a wall in the northern French port of Calais as part of measures to contain migrants, junior Home Office Minister Robert Goodwill said Wednesday.
The 4-meter-high [13-foot-high] concrete wall, which would stretch for 1 kilometer (0.6 mile), is expected to cost $3 million [2.7 million euros].
It will be built as part of a $23 million (17 million British pound) security package agreed to by Britain and France, after tens of thousands of attempted English Channel crossings last year through trucks boarding ferries and the Eurotunnel.
Goodwill told a parliamentary committee Tuesday that construction along the main highway to the port would start “very soon,” adding that “we've done the fence, now we are doing a wall.''
Construction of the barrier is expected to begin as soon as this month and should be completed by the end of this year, according to official sources.
British opposition politicians and some European leaders have criticized the plan.
Thousands of people, most of them from war-torn Syria and the wider Middle East, as well as from Africa, have reached Calais after long and dangerous Mediterranean and Aegean sea crossings, hoping to travel farther north to Britain by stowing away on trucks and trains through the Channel Tunnel.
Many live in an overcrowded camp known as "the jungle,'' which French authorities have vowed to dismantle.
Angry French truckers and farmers blocked the main routes in and out of Calais on Monday, calling for the closure of the migrant camp.