Paris: France’s border with Britain for migration will remain on French soil, Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said on Friday, dismissing calls for it to be moved to the English coast following the Brexit vote.
Under a bilateral treaty signed in 2003 known as the Touquet accord, British officials can check passports in France and vice versa. This led to migrants trying to reach British shores congregating in camps at Calais.
Dramatic images last year from the camps, showing large groups trying to force their way through the Channel tunnel and onto trucks heading for ferries to Dover in England spurred Eurosceptics to amplify calls for Britons to vote to quit the EU.
The mayor of Calais and other French politicians on Friday called for a renegotiation of the accord following Brexit.
Dismissing that option, Ayrault said: “Would that also mean putting in place boats for people who otherwise risk drowning? I think we should be serious.”
He said other bilateral immigration treaties would also remain in place.
Other important agreements between France and Britain such as the 2010 Lancaster House defence and security treaties would also be maintained.
Thomson Reuters 2016