23:29 GMT +320 September 2019
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    A member of the UK Border agency stands at the entrance of the Channel Ferries in Calais, northern France, on January 27, 2009 .

    France Wants to Scrap Existing UK-French Border Deal

    © AFP 2019 / Philippe Huguen
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    The French government is "definitely" going to close the UK border post in Calais after Brexit, according to a key ally of French presidential election frontrunner, Alain Juppe.

    Arnaud Danjean said France should no longer bear the "negative burden" of migrants aiming to enter the UK, and called for the existing UK-France border treaty to be ripped up.

    The battle for the Elysee Palace will culminate early next spring. At this stage, the field still has many contenders. However, what unites several of them is a wish to renegotiate the UK-French border in a post Brexit Europe.

    Such pressure has been reinforced by one French political insider, Arnaud Danjean. He's a key ally to the front runner of the presidential race, Republican candidate Alain Juppe.

    "It's a consequence [of Brexit]. It's not a punishment. It's an uncomfortable consequence for Britain," he told the BBC.

    "When it comes to border management, we will have to find a new agreement, definitely, because you can't make as if nothing has happened.

    "And we all know that the vote for Brexit was mainly expressed because of migration and immigration issues. So, it has an impact and we cannot continue like this."

    Mr. Danjean continued that it was inconceivable that the current UK-French border arrangement could continue unchanged.

    "I cannot imagine a French politician and a French president telling people, 'Well, you know, the Brits have decided to leave but we have to enforce the border at our border.' This would be very hard to explain," he insisted.

    The primary point of contention is the Le Touquet deal: a controversial bilateral arrangement signed in 2003, under President Nicolas Sarkozy, which allows UK and French border officials to conduct border checks in France, rather than in the UK.

    Oct. 26, 2016 file photo people walk past as thick smoke and flames rise from amidst the tents after fires were started in the makeshift migrant camp known as the jungle near Calais, northern France.
    © AP Photo / Emilio Morenatti
    Oct. 26, 2016 file photo people walk past as thick smoke and flames rise from amidst the tents after fires were started in the makeshift migrant camp known as "the jungle" near Calais, northern France.

    This resulted in a build up of migrants waiting to enter the UK, but forced to wait on French soil, rather than within England. 

    After the Brexit referendum in June, French officials took the opportunity to say that a new deal has become necessary to reflect the momentous change in the UK exiting the EU.

    Less than 12 hours after the result, the mayor of Calais urged that the Le Touquet deal be scrapped.

    Young migrants pose with posters reading 'We want to go faster to UK' and 'We have family waiting for us' at the Jungle migrant camp in Calais, northern France, on October 26, 2016.
    © AFP 2019 / Francois Nascimbeni
    Young migrants pose with posters reading 'We want to go faster to UK' and 'We have family waiting for us' at the "Jungle" migrant camp in Calais, northern France, on October 26, 2016.

    Natacha Bouchart said that Britain must "take the consequences" of its vote. She added that in separating from the EU, Britain must itself take care of the issue of hopeful refugees aspiring to settle in Britain — on its side of the Channel.

    "The British people have chosen to take back their freedom, they must take back their borders," she said.

    The British Home Office dismissed such demands as "a non-starter."

    However, the French have since dismantled the Calais 'Jungle': a sprawling temporary settlement of thousands immigrants and refugees, who have been redistributed to processing centers across France.

    Many in France say that this is a temporary measure, and have renewed calls for the UK to take responsibility for assessing migrants wishing to enter the UK.

    UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has thus far maintained that the government does not intend to renegotiate the Le Touquet deal.

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    Tags:
    migrant crisis, resettlement, 'Jungle' refugee camp, border control, asylum seekers, refugees, Natacha Bouchart, Alain Juppe, Calais, Europe, United Kingdom, France
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