Britain's foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, said that the crisis in Calais was under control, just before French police blocked migrants from entering the Channel Tunnel for a second successive night on 3 August.

The town has become a focal point for a huge influx of migrants entering Europe to escape poverty and violence in the Middle East and Africa, with thousands seeking to make illegal and Hammond said the government had already taken new measures to increase security in the area.

He said: "I think we have got a grip on the crisis. We saw a peak last week, since when the number of illegal migrants has tailed off. We've taken a number of measures in collaboration with the French authorities and Eurotunnel, which are already having an effect and over the next day or two I would expect to have an even greater effect. Border force personnel in the control room, more fencing in place, additional guards hired, all of those things will slow down the flow and we will deal with those problems."

Nightly attempts by large groups of the estimated 5,000 migrants in Calais to force their way through the tunnel linking France and Britain have provoked public anger and severely disrupted the flow of goods between the two countries.