French FM Slams Talk of Moving UK Border Controls

French FM Slams Talk of Moving UK Border ControlsFrench FM Slams Talk of Moving UK Border Controls

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has dismissed suggestions France’s border with the UK should be moved to UK soil post-Brexit.

Local politicians are calling for a return of border controls to the UK.

A French government spokesman also sought to allay fears on Friday, saying that bilateral immigration treaties between Britain and France would not be affected by Britain’s vote to exit the EU, Deutsche Welle reported.

“On the question of immigration, to be clear, British exit from the European Union will not lead to changes in terms of immigration treaties with United Kingdom ... These are bilateral treaties,” French government spokesman, Stephane Le Foll, said.

Natacha Bouchart, mayor of the northern French city of Calais, called earlier on Friday for Britain to carry out immigration checks on the UK side of the English Channel after the Brexit vote.

Under a deal signed in 2003 known as the Touquet Agreement, Britain can conduct checks in Calais to stop migrants trying to get into the UK.

“The British must take the consequences of their choice,” Bouchart said earlier on Friday. “We are in a strong position to push, to press this request for a review and we are asking president (Francois Hollande) to bring his weight [to the issue].

“We must put everything on the table and there must be an element of division, of sharing. We will not continue to guard the border for Britain if it’s no longer in the European Union.”

“The English wanted to take back their freedom: they must take back their border,” Xavier Bertrand, president of Hauts-de-France region in which Calais is located, said on Friday.

France warned before Thursday’s referendum that a Brexit vote could see the camp that houses thousands of migrants being moved from Calais to British soil. The British authorities have made no public comments on the issue.

Those living in the camp, mainly from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa, hope to cross the English Channel and often use people traffickers to enter illegally.