Border checks agreement could now be under threat
A border agreement that allows the UK to carry out checks on the French side of the Channel could be under threat following the EU referendum result.
It has been claimed that if the arrangement ends it would mean that migrant camps in Calais could be established in Folkestone or Dover.
Natacha Bouchart, the Calais mayor, gave credence to those claims when she said she would push for the border agreement to be suspended in the wake of the referendum result.
She said: “The British must take on the consequences of their choice.
“We are in a strong position to push, to press this request for a review, and we are asking the president to bring his weight to the issue.
“We must put everything on the table, and there must be an element of division, of sharing.”
But the idea the treaty would be scrapped was given short shrift by the French government, with French foreign minister JeanMarc Ayrault dismissing the idea.
He said: “Would that also mean putting in place boats for people who otherwise risk drowning? I think we should be serious.”
Xavier Bertrand, the centreright president of the Hauts-deFrance region, which includes Calais, had earlier tweeted: “The English wanted to take back their freedom. They must take back their border.”
The possibility Brexit could trigger an end to the bilateral Le Touquet treaty allowing UK border controls to be carried out in France was raised by the prime minister earlier in the year.
David Cameron said there were “any number of opposition politicians” in France who would “love” to tear up the deal.
Folkestone and Hythe MP Damian Collins said earlier this year: “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.”
Migrants at Calais