France will 'definitely' close UK border at Calais after Brexit, politician claims

Downing Street says it expects the border post to remain once Britain leaves the European Union

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The Independent Online

France will close the UK border post in Calais after Brexit, an ally of the French presidential frontrunner Alain Juppe has said.

Arnaud Danjean told BBC Radio 4's Analysis programme the French government is "definitely" going to close the border as an "uncomfortable consequence" of Brexit.

"It's a consequence [of Brexit]," he said. "It's not a punishment. It's an uncomfortable consequence for Britain."

Workers dig foundations of a wall near Calais migrant Jungle camp along the road leading to the harbour of Calais on September 26, 2016 in France (Getty Images)

Mr Danjean, who acts as a spokesman for Mr Juppe, reiterated the frontrunner's call to close the border post in Calais.

He added: "When it comes to border management, we will have to find a new agreement, definitely, because you can't make as if nothing has happened.

"And we all know that the vote for Brexit was mainly expressed because of migration and immigration issues. So, it has an impact and we cannot continue like this.

"I cannot imagine a French politician and a French president telling people, 'Well, you know, the Brits have decided to leave but we have to enforce the border at our border'. This would be very hard to explain."

Downing Street told the BBC it expects the 2003 Le Touquet treaty, which established the border post, to continue once Britain leaves the European Union.

Calais 'Jungle' exodus: Charity boss likens refugee treatment to Nazi persecution

In September, the Government announced it was building a 13ft wall in Calais to stop refugees from crossing the channel.

Rights groups condemned the £1.9 million so-called "Great Wall of Calais" as cruel and dangerous.

The mayor of Calais, natacha Bouchart, pledged to use "all legal weapons" at her disposal to prevent the barrier from being built.