French government dismisses David Cameron's 'Jungle camps' warning

Posted On: 
9th February 2016

The French government has contradicted David Cameron’s claim that it could scrap its border agreement with the UK if Britain leaves the European Union.

The Prime Minister’s warning that Brexit could lead to camps similar to the “Jungle” in Calais springing up in southern England
triggered a furious reactionfrom eurosceptics, who accused Mr Cameron of “scaremongering”.

A source at the French interior ministry, though, told the Daily Telegraph there were “no plans” to revisit the existing arrangement that sees border checks conducted at French ports.

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The source also highlighted these quotes from interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve last year: “Calling for the border with the English to be opened is not a responsible solution.

"It would send a signal to people smugglers and would lead migrants to flow to Calais in far greater numbers. A humanitarian disaster would ensue. It is a foolhardy path, and one the government will not pursue.”

Philippe Mignonet, the deputy mayor of Calais, enthusiastically endorsed the Government’s warning.

“We will have to cancel these agreements, because England won't be in Europe anymore. So that will really be a foreign country for us.”

Labour peer Lord Blunkett, who was home secretary when the deal with France was signed in 2003, also backed up the Prime Minister.

“I don’t think raising the fact that pulling out of the EU would lead the French to reconsider it is to frighten people,” he said.

“There would be much greater reason as to why France would want to continue with something for a European neighbour than they would for a country that had just decided to put two fingers up.”