Nicolas Sarkozy demands Calais Jungle refugee camp is moved to UK

The former French leader says Britain should 'do the work that concerns them'

May Bulman
Sunday 28 August 2016 22:57 BST
The former French leader and presidential hopeful said Britain must deal with asylum seekers domestically
The former French leader and presidential hopeful said Britain must deal with asylum seekers domestically (Getty)

Nicolas Sarkozy has said that the Calais "Jungle" should be moved to Britain.

The former French President, who served as President until 2012 and has announced he will stand again in next year's election, said Britain should deal with asylum seekers domestically and "do the work that concerns them".

Speaking at a political rally in Le Touquet, Mr Sarkozy said: “I'm demanding the opening of a centre in Britain to deal with asylum seekers in Britain so that Britain can do the work that concerns them.

"The jungle should not be in Calais or anywhere else, because this is a republic and those with no rights to be here should return to their country."

Mr Sarkozy's speech pointed towards an end to the Le Touquet treaty, which enables British officials to check passports in France and vice versa.

Le Touquet, a bilateral agreement between London and Paris signed in 2003, has been blamed by a number of right-wing politcians in France for the congregation of migrants at Calais.

Mr Sarkozy's Conservative rival Alaine Juppe has said he would likely scrap Le Touquet agreement with the UK and place the border between the two countries on British soil if he gets into power.

Officially the agreement remains valid even if Britain leaves the EU, but government sources in Paris have said it is “unlikely” to be able to continue its present treaty arrangements with a “non-EU state”.

Since last summer, thousands of refugees fleeing war and Isis in Syria and Iraq have made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean and over land borders to get to Europe.

According to the latest consensus by Help refugees and l’Auberge des Migrants the population of the Calais “jungle” has risen to 9,106 – an increase of 29 per cent in the past month.

The French presidential election is scheduled to take place in April and May next year.

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