French president, François Hollande says that ‘Brexit’ would have ‘consequences’ for Britain and could lead to France scrapping the Calais border deal.
A senior French minister also has warned the UK that leaving the EU could end their agreement over border controls in Calais.
The French economy minister, Emmanuel Macron said Britain’s departure from the 28-nation bloc would threaten bilateral ties between London and Paris.
He said that the migrant camp known as the ‘jungle’ could move to Dover in Kent if Britain leeaves EU
“The day this relationship unravels, migrants will no longer be in Calais,” Mr Macron said, adding that rules allowing British-based banks to operate across the EU would be lost.
Press TV reports:
In an interview with the Financial Times, he stressed that France would roll out a “red carpet” to London’s bankers in case of the UK exit from the bloc.
The comments with regard to the refugee camp are not the first of its kind. Xavier Bertrand, the recently re-elected president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie region, has repeatedly said the Le Touquet agreement would be torn up if Britain left the EU.
Macron’s comments, however, come as British Prime Minister David Cameron prepares a trip to Paris with security and migration high on agenda of his talks with French President Francois Hollande.
Euroskeptic groups have dismissed the French minister’s remarks as “scaremongering.” “Propaganda being produced by other European governments at the request of the Prime Minister [Cameron] to try to scare people away from voting to leave,” Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin said.
Jenkin said that the UK’s stay in the bloc is in the interest of France and other EU members. “We pay a great deal of money into the EU and it subsidizes a great deal of French farming. Surprise surprise, they don’t want us to leave the EU.”
He added that the decision to remain in the bloc depends on the British people not the French government.
The issue of the Calais camp has caused controversy since Cameron suggested that refugees would move into Kent in the event of Brexit.
Currently, British border patrols are guarding the ‘jungle camp’ under the 2003 Treaty of Le Touquet signed in by then Home Secretary David Blunkett and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy following riots at a camp near Calais.
Under the deal, French border police have immigration checkpoints at Dover, while the UK has immigration checkpoints at Calais and Dunkirk.
The authorities of the two countries remain widely divided on the refugee camp. Cameron wants a review of the agreement but the French president is also under pressure from within his own country over the build-up of refugees in Calais.