EU Brexit referendum: France’s Calais seeks border deal changes

1 year ago
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The mayor of Calais wants changes to a deal which allows Britain to carry out immigration checks on the French side of the English Channel, after a UK vote to leave the EU.

Natacha Bouchart said Paris must act after Thursday’s referendum in which the UK voted to leave the EU.

“The British must take the consequences of their choice,” she said on Friday.

Under the 2003 Touquet deal, Britain can carry out check in Calais to stop migrants trying to get to Britain.

Ms Bouchart said: “We are in a strong position to push, to press this request for a review and we are asking the 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.”
Meanwhile, Xavier Bertrand, the president of Hauts-de-France region where Calais is located, said: “The English wanted to take back their freedom: they must take back their border.”

The French authorities had warned before the referendum that a vote for leaving the EU could see a camp with thousands of migrants being moved from Calais to British soil.

The British authorities have made no public comments on the issue.
In February, clashes broke out as French demolition teams dismantled huts in part of Calais’s migrant camp known as the Jungle.

The French government plans to relocate migrants to reception centres.

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

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