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French border warning: is it just blackmail?

(167 Posts)
WinnieTheW0rm Thu 03-Mar-16 06:57:42

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35712463

The French Finance minister has said that if UK votes to leave, the French will end border controls at Calais and allow people to leave France unchecked.

Are his comments representative of French governmental thinking?

tokoloshe2015 Thu 03-Mar-16 07:09:10

Well, it seems reasonable to me. At the moment they allow the UK to run UK border controls in France rather than in the UK. There's absolutely no reason why they should, except as part of an amicable relationship between partners aiming to encourage fewer border controls but appreciating the UK's concerns.

How many other countries have UK border control operating in their country, and how many countries would be allowed to place THEIR border control staff in the UK?

Most country's exit checks are more related to making sure people they want to find (such as people accused of crimes) don't escape, not to make decisions about whether the country of arrival wants that particular person.

So France would run any exit checks THEY felt were useful in France, and the UK would run any entry checks THEY feel are useful in the UK. Plus then the UK could place responsibilities on the companies operating cross-Channel traffic, just as airlines carry the responsibility (as I understand) of returning anyone they transport to the UK without proper entry permission.

That's the norm, isn't it?

If the UK wants out of the partnership then they lose the privileges and favours as well as the inconvenient parts...

UnmentionedElephantDildo Thu 03-Mar-16 07:12:48

You can be co-operative partners without being EU partners.

USA has some border posts in Mexico (examining freight).

Daisyonthegreen Thu 03-Mar-16 07:41:54

I think if you look the French have conceded this would not happen now,many scare stories are being used to discourage Brexit
The EU needs us more than we need them.

UnmentionedElephantDildo Thu 03-Mar-16 07:45:05

Cameron and Hollande are due to meet today.

This might be French sabre-rattling before that meeting.

Lico Thu 03-Mar-16 09:00:58

Hello,
Have been trying to find some concrete Brexit policies as to the over two million EU nationals who have been living in the UK for years and who are married to UK citizens? Will they need a visa to stay in the UK? Will their English spouses need a visa to visit the Continent. Will UK-Continent workers/visitors need visas every time they take the Eurostar? Like wise, what will happen to the two million Brits who live on the Continent? Pensions? Bank Accounts?
Health? Etc..
Have been trying to find Brexit policies on the matters above to no avail.
Does anybody know?

OddBoots Thu 03-Mar-16 10:53:00

The Vienna Convention of 1969 means that a termination of membership of the EU "does not affect any right, obligation or legal situation of the parties created through the execution of the treaty prior to its termination.”

It means that if you have a right before the treaty is ended (such as the right to live and work in a place) then you can keep that right but there are no obligations to extend that right to other people after the termination.

dontcryitsonlyajoke Thu 03-Mar-16 11:00:52

"Brexit policies"? <hollow laugh > They haven't got any. They just want people to vote against the EU not actually for anything concrete. They seem to think Brexit will allow us to pick and choose how the rest of the world works so that everything is better for the UK. Life doesn't work like that.

I heard Theresa Villiers tying herself in knots over how we will simultaneously maintain our open border with Ireland and somehow be able to stop refugees getting in to the UK via that border. This showed exactly how Brexit is just political rhetoric, not actual policies.

It doesn't matter whether France is sabre rattling or not. The fact is, outside the EU there is much more chance of them kicking our border control out than there is within the EU. Any Brexiter saying otherwise is talking tosh.

AnnaForbes Thu 03-Mar-16 11:14:08

But why can't we control our own borders? I have never understood why we need to rely on France to do it for us.

alltouchedout Thu 03-Mar-16 11:35:10

No, it's not blackmail, it's just them saying what will happen.

(I never understood this during the run up to the referendum in Scotland- every time anyone stated a negative consequence of Scotland voting to secede there were cries of blackmail, bullying, fearmongering, etc. It's not- it's just people pointing out that if a happens, b is the consequence!)

Daisyonthegreen Thu 03-Mar-16 11:37:12

I don't think it's helpful to denigrate,let's just see ,it's early days,the media love to scare.Lets sit back and research.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 03-Mar-16 11:41:18

But why can't we control our own borders? I have never understood why we need to rely on France to do it for us.

We do. There are currently UK border controls in France. I'd guess if there weren't the Jungle would be in Dover somewhere? I'd guess that in a Brexit this current arrangement may change.

The EU needs us more than we need them.

Insofar as the UK is one of the main net contributors. If we vote to leave we won't be giving money to the EU anymore and there is no reason at all they "need" us.

WinnieTheW0rm Thu 03-Mar-16 11:45:03

"let's just see ,it's early days,the media love to scare.Lets sit back and research"

That's what I was hoping, because it's not clear to me whether this is a serious French position, kite flying, or plain posturing and was wondering about opinions (or even actual insights) into this.

lovelyupnorth Thu 03-Mar-16 11:49:00

Lets be honest if we go then why wouldn't the rest of the eu make life difficult for us. For me i think we are mad to leave but we have far too many little englanders that think we are special in this country.

may become difficult for all those 3 million brits abroad as well.

SirChenjin Thu 03-Mar-16 11:53:22

Exactly what all said - it's reality, and if you find that scary then unfortunately that's one of the things you'll have to accept as a result of leaving.

OddBoots Thu 03-Mar-16 11:54:43

If it suits the French to have the British boarder in their land then they will keep it, if it doesn't then we will have to try to negotiate it if we want it. I don't think there is anything in law that says they need to have it there even if we stayed, it's an agreement that works at the moment but may change.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Thu 03-Mar-16 12:00:37

Border checks used to be on UK soil. I think we can await a small flotilla of boats trying to cross the channel to be honest.

Why on earth would we continue to avail of all the benefits without the contribution? I am quite sure that the French would be most happy to see the back of the Calais jungle.

Completely agree with dontcryitsonlyajoke point about "policy". Ireland will remain part of the EU, and therefore EU right to work/no requirement for a visa will apply on entry there. Ireland does not have open borders so non EU citizens will go through the same checks as they would here. But there is nothing to stop an EU citizen flying from Dublin to London every 15 mins.

Daisyonthegreen Thu 03-Mar-16 13:31:04

I don't think it's helpful to denigrate,calling people " little Englanders"on this site.
Let's just wait and see what is said.

meditrina Thu 03-Mar-16 13:34:40

The agreement can be ended by either country with 6 months notice anyhow.

So if there are good reasons to end it, it'll be ended anyhow.

I think it's sabre-rattling (or extreme petulance) to say Brexit would be a sufficient reason (as UK is non-Schengen).

thebiscuitindustry Thu 03-Mar-16 13:53:44

"Brexit policies"? <hollow laugh > They haven't got any.

If you mean the policies that come from government then no they haven't, as Cameron wants to stay in the EU! It's not in his interests at this stage to let us know all the positive things that will happen if we leave. But whichever way the referendum goes, then of course he'll then work on taking suitable action in Britain's best interests.

However if you're saying there are no good reasons from those wanting a Brexit then that's different. I think there are many good reasons, from various points along the political spectrum.

The "stay" campaign is churning out spurious reasons to stay. No, we don't know what the economy will do but isn't democracy worth more?

Fear of the unknown isn't a good reason to stay in an undemocratic EU that's heading for a federal Europe. We have this single, valuable chance in June to regain Britain's sovereignty.

It's interesting that older people are more likely to vote for a Brexit. They're the ones who have the life experience of many years before the EU even existed. Why the lack of confidence from many people that Britain can't stand on its own two feet?

Lets be honest if we go then why wouldn't the rest of the eu make life difficult for us.

To those who think the EU could "punish" the UK for leaving, and for us to be "blackmailed" as the OP suggests, IMO that's another reason to leave. Why stay part of an organisation that will bully us if we don't toe the line?

They seem to think Brexit will allow us to pick and choose how the rest of the world works

There will be negotiations with other countries, not deciding how they work. And yes, we'll be able to choose to make more decisions here in this country, instead of having Brussels tell us what to do. If we get a government we don't like for a few years, then democracy will allow the British people to choose a different one. If the EU goes in a direction we don't like in the future, and we've stayed, then what?

Daisyonthegreen Thu 03-Mar-16 13:56:49

Biscuit Industry, Well said.

ajandjjmum Thu 03-Mar-16 14:12:53

Why would there be a need for a 'jungle' anywhere? Surely the Channel Tunnel and shipping companies would be responsible for taking anyone back who was not entitled to enter the UK, as airlines do.

Daisyonthegreen Thu 03-Mar-16 15:59:56

Found this on the ' net
Upon leaving the EU,the U.K. and EU would still be bound by the 1969 Vienna Convention to honour the existing free movement agreements as already made use of.This means that no member state citizen or UK citizens abroad would be forced to leave.
Rights and obligations before withdrawal are honoured.

Daisyonthegreen Thu 03-Mar-16 16:15:19

Lovelyupnorth.....Google Vienna Convention,
rights of Brits abroad guaranteed ,Brits rights to live in EU (and Britain pays for their healthcare abroad )&would not change.

Chalalala Thu 03-Mar-16 17:05:09

Why wouldn't the French government do it? They have their own opinion to appease and their own elections to win. The French public is sick to death of the Calais problem, and doesn't understand why France is dealing with it instead of Britain.

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