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Immigration shambles: France considers scrapping border treaty which could see illegal incomers quadruple 

Tuesday, 04 November 2014

The number of illegal immigrants entering Britain could quadruple because a vital agreement with France is under threat.

A government whistleblower here has revealed that “furious” French chiefs are thinking about scrapping the Le Touquet Treaty which effectively moved the UK border across the Channel.

The deal, signed in 2003, allows British border officials to be stationed at ferry terminals in France.

But there has been a breakdown in relations between the Home Office and counterparts in France’s Interior Ministry, the source has revealed.

French officials are angry that the treaty has turned Calais into a dumping ground for migrants.

It is feared that abolishing the agreement could result in the notorious migrant camps that have blighted the French town being set up in Dover.

The highly-placed whistleblower said: “If this deal is scrapped it would be a complete disaster for our border control.”

Squalor: Makeshift camp close to the port of Calais

Our relationship with French officials has hit rock bottom since under fire Home Secretary Theresa May scrapped the UK Border Agency last year, the source added.

Desperate asylum seekers in Calais today welcomed the bombshell that British border officials could be pulled out of the town.

Adnan Khan, 25, is living in a makeshift camp known as The Jungle less than a mile from the port.


The computing graduate said: “If there are less British border officials in Calais, of course it will make it easier for some people to get across to England.


“The French have never liked having the British on their soil and I am sure wouldn’t care if we made it to Britain.


“They would rather that we were in Dover than in Calais.”


Adam GerrardCalais jungle CampRefugee: Adnan talking to Mirror


Adnan said he was forced to flee Pakistan because of the threat of the Taliban and US drone strikes which killed his family by accident.


 Another of the migrants, Amir Shahid, 30, said: “I hope the British will withdraw their border to Dover and give us a chance of getting through.


“We are not all scroungers looking to live on benefits. Many of us are educated and want to find work and pay taxes.”


The electronics engineering graduate, from Pakistan’s tribal North Waziristan region, added: “Things have become much more difficult in Calais recently. The police are being much more aggressive and are racist, not like in England.


“I have seen them pepper-spraying a pregnant woman. And if they catch you trying to get into the ferry port they will beat you very hard.”


Around 2,500 refugees are living rough in Calais and many risk their lives on a daily basis in their bid to get to England by smuggling themselves into trucks or cars bound for the ferry port.


Britain’s immigration shambles was exposed last week after a damning report by MPs revealed how Ms May’s department had lost track of 50,000 illegal immigrants.


The Home Office had also failed to kick out another 175,000 illegal immigrants and the backlog continues the grow, the Commons’ Public Accounts Committee revealed.


It is understood that Ms Bouchart’s border views reflect the private concerns of France’s Interior Ministry which wants to be rid of the thousands of migrants in their port towns.


The French have been “furious for years about how the treaty has panned out”, according to the whistleblower.


The source added: “The Interior Ministry is carrying out a private review to explore the option of removing all UK border officials out of northern France.


“Our border, which is effectively at Calais at the moment, would then become Dover.


“The advantage of having border staff at Calais and Dunkirk is that illegal immigrants can be turned back before they can reach the UK.


"But as soon as an illegal reaches UK soil they can then claim asylum in this country, which would be an enormous problem if the frontier is moved back to Dover.”


The insider added that the treaty led to the number of asylum seekers falling from around 80,000 in 2003 to roughly 18,000 by 2007.


“It has now crept back up to around 25,000, and it is thought this number would quadruple should border officials be removed from Calais and Dunkirk,” the source said.


Officials have also described how the migrants in the makeshift tent villages have caused chaos in the town, with attacks on citizens on the rise.

 Labour MP Mr Blunkett said today: “The treaty and subsequent agreement to place intelligence and security staff with immigration officers on French soil was vital to stemming the flood of clandestine entry into Britain.

 “If we did not have UK officials on French soil there would be nothing to stop people making their way to Britain and then seeking refuge or disappearing into the sub-economy.”

Ms May’s leadership on immigration has been “poor at best”, according to the government whistleblower.

The source said: “She relies heavily on special advisors, without having a real grasp of the issues herself

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