29. August 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Calais chief wants new migrant border deal with UK“ · Kategorien: Frankreich, Großbritannien · Tags: ,

Quelle: BBC

Migrants in Calais seeking asylum in the UK should be allowed to lodge their claim in France, the president of the region has told the BBC.

Xavier Bertrand said people living in the camp known as the Jungle should be able to apply at a „hotspot“ in France rather than waiting to reach Britain.

UK officials currently check passports in France, stopping many from entering.

The Home Office said „those in need of protection should seek asylum in the first safe country they enter“.

Mr Bertrand said under his plan anyone rejected by the UK would then be deported directly to their country of origin.

‚Excellent relationship‘

The Jungle camp has become the focal point of France’s refugee crisis with up to 9,000 people living there. Almost every night many try to circumvent passport checks by hiding inside vehicles entering the port and the Channel Tunnel to get to Britain.

Mr Bertrand hopes that amending the bilateral agreement between France and the UK – called the Treaty of Le Touquet – would help alleviate those problems.
The treaty allows British immigration officials to check passports in Calais and their French counterparts do the equivalent in Dover, and without it, UK officials would have to wait until people and vehicles arrived on British soil.

The Home Office said it believed in the „established principle, enshrined in the Dublin Regulation, that those in need of protection should seek asylum in the first safe country they enter.“

The government said it was committed to working together to protect the shared border in Calais and insisted there was „an excellent relationship with the French government on these issues“.

Why don’t Calais migrants claim asylum in France?

Under EU rules, known as the Dublin Regulation, asylum seekers should claim asylum in the first safe country they come to.

Electronic fingerprinting means that many who make it further into Europe will end up being sent back to Italy or Greece, where many first entered the EU.

UK politicians say under the Dublin rules, migrants in Calais should claim asylum in France if they need protection.

But many migrants say their life in France is „no good“, and they hope for better opportunities in the UK.

Mr Bertrand does not have the power to change the treaty, but several of the candidates looking to win next year’s French presidential election, including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, support his idea that it be either reformed or annulled.

Mr Sarkozy signed up to the treaty in the town of Le Touquet in 2003 as part of a deal to close a former migrant centre in Sangatte.

Sir Peter Ricketts, the former British ambassador to Paris, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the proposals could make France more of a „magnet“ for refugees trying to get to Britain.

He said hundreds of thousands of migrants were arriving in Greece and Italy, and nowhere near that amount were in Calais.

„As soon as you suggested that, there would be a huge magnet pulling thousands and thousands more migrants into Calais to chance their arm, make an asylum claim, hope that they might get to the UK and good luck.

„So it wouldn’t help the French deal with the problem of thousands of people in Calais… I think it would make it worse, almost certainly.“

Former chief inspector of borders John Vine said Britain would need to be confident that proper checks would be carried out.

„If border controls were removed back to the UK, then of course there would be more reliance on the French authorities in actually checking that people have the right travel documents, checking all the vehicles in northern France in a way that’s now done jointly and also done with lots of British money,“ he said.

It is understood Home Secretary Amber Rudd will go to Paris this week to discuss the treaty.

Earlier this month, local councils in the UK said they should be involved in assessing the needs of child migrants in Calais before they arrive in the UK.

About 4,000 lone children are claiming asylum in the UK, with their care and resettlement down to local authorities.

The Local Government Association said earlier involvement would make it easier for councils to help children settle.

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