Mi­grant camps will come here if we quit EU, warns Cameron

Farage dis­misses claim but MPs say idea of The Jun­gle in Kent is cred­i­ble

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Paul Fran­cis

Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron claims that mi­grant camps like The Jun­gle could spring up in Folke­stone and Dover if the UK votes to leave the EU.

Folke­stone and Hythe MP Damian Collins said it was a cred­i­ble claim be­cause the French au­thor­i­ties would have no in­cen­tive to co-op­er­ate by con­tin­u­ing to al­low bor­der con­trols to op­er­ate on the French side of the Chan­nel.

The Prime Min­is­ter has said that if Bri­tain leaves the EU, France will stop al­low­ing UK of­fi­cials to con­duct the checks in their coun­try un­der a treaty drawn up in 2003.

His claims have trig­gered a political row but Mr Collins said: “It is a cred­i­ble claim be­cause the cur­rent ar­range­ments do work mas­sively in our favour. If the French au­thor­i­ties were to re­move bor­der con­trols, then the mi­grants at Calais would end up in Kent and claim asy­lum here... it is a real risk.”

Ash­ford MP Damian Green, a sup­porter of stay­ing in the EU, echoed: “The Prime Min­is­ter is quite right to warn about this. And it is not just the Prime Min­is­ter but the French In­te­rior Mi­nis- ter who has said there is a chance of this hap­pen­ing and the Mayor of Calais is ac­tively cam­paign­ing to end the treaty.”

He said it was right to un­der­line that leav­ing the EU would have neg­a­tive con­se­quences.

“It is right to un­der­line both the neg­a­tive and pos­i­tive aspects. It is com­pletely re­al­is­tic to say that this could be a con­se­quence of pulling out.”

But Ukip leader Nigel Farage dis­missed the claims, point­ing out that the treaty which had led to UK bor­der con­trols be­ing in Calais was a bi­lat­eral agree­ment.

In a tweet, he said: “David Cameron is do­ing any­thing he can to dis­tract the Bri­tish peo­ple from his dis­as­trous, sham­bolic, pa­thetic EU deal.”

Dover MP Char­lie El­ph­icke en­dorsed the PM’s warn­ing, say­ing: “This treaty is ex­traor­di­nar­ily im­por­tant to our bor­der con­trols.

“We need to re­mem­ber it was agreed be­cause of San­gatte [an ear­lier mi­grant camp] and if it was scrapped it would be a disas­ter. We work very well with the French with our bor­der con­trols in place in Calais.”

Ac­cord­ing to The Tele­graph, a Down­ing Street source said: “The French would love to pull out of the ar­range­ment. We will be telling peo­ple – look, if we leave the EU The Jun­gle camp in Calais will move to Folke­stone. That is not some­thing peo­ple want.”

Mr Collins has also said that he is likely to sup­port re­main­ing in the EU on the ba­sis of the pack­age of re­forms put for­ward by Mr Cameron.

Pic­ture: Oli Scarff/Getty Im­ages

Mi­grants at The Jun­gle makeshift camp in Calais

David Cameron’s claims have trig­gered a row

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