- Title: French, British ministers meet amid calls to renegotiate Calais border deal
- Date: 30th August 2016
- Summary: CALAIS, FRANCE (FILE) (REUTERS) MODEL BOAT MOUNTED ON WALL IN CAMP VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS IN CAMP GRAFFITI READING (English): "LONDON CALLING", MIGRANT STANDING BESIDE WALL
- Embargoed: 14th September 2016 13:18
- Keywords: Cazeneuve Rudd migrants Calais Le Touquet Nicolas Sarkozy refugees camp
- Location: PARIS AND CALAIS, FRANCE / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: PARIS AND CALAIS, FRANCE / BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: France
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0064XBIJ47
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
British and French interior ministers met in Paris on Tuesday (August 30) as calls mounted from potential candidates in France's upcoming presidential election to relocate British border checks from Calais across the Channel.
Newly-appointed Home Secretary Amber Rudd said she expected to reaffirm the current deal which keeps thousands of migrants in France, many camped on the outskirts of the northern town.
Nicolas Sarkozy, former French president and hopeful for the 2017 contest, said on Saturday that an asylum centre should be opened in Britain, joining calls by other conservative contenders to revisit the current deal.
General Secretary of NGO 'France Terre d'Asile' ('France, land of asylum'), Pierre Henry, said he was not opposed to discussing the so-called "Le Touquet" arrangement, but that negotiations must respect the rights of the migrants and open legal paths of migration.
"Above all, refugees should not be used as weapons to punish our neighbours. What would it mean 'We're going to send you the refugees?', these are human beings who have rights which have to be respected, in collaboration, that's what ought to happen. In other words, the Le Touquet accords can be revised but they must be revised collaboratively," he told Reuters television.
Henry said that the camp had doubled in the space of a few months and that up to 9,000 people were currently camped out in the so-called 'Jungle'.
Some French and British officials, including then Prime Minister David Cameron, had warned Britain that the Anglo-French Le Touquet agreement could be harmed if the country voted to leave the European Union at a referendum on June 23.
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