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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Le Touquet treaty vital to protect cross-Channel trade

Jul 31, 2017
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has urged the UK Prime Minister to convince French President, Emmanuel Macron, of the mutual benefits of preserving the Le Touquet Treaty.

The treaty is instrumental in preventing unnecessary congestion occurring at Britain’s ports, and ensuring the continued movement of goods between the UK and continental Europe with as little delay as possible.

The warning comes after the new French President indicated that he may consider scrapping the treaty, made in 2003, which would see immigration controls moved from the French coast to the UK.

“The repatriation of border controls to the UK from France would have disastrous effects on the UK’s logistics industry, as well as on general traffic through the Channel ports,” said Pauline Bastidon, FTA’s Head of European Policy. “The Port of Dover has insufficient space to accommodate additional immigration checks – implementing such a change on UK soil would severely disrupt the cross-Channel flow of goods.”

She continued, “There is also the risk of giving the impression to people-smugglers that the French border is now ‘open’, which could lead to a return of large numbers of migrants heading to the UK. This would increase the safety risks for drivers, who would once again see their vehicles targeted as they approached the Channel ports. Currently, checks are undertaken before trucks leave the Continent, removing stowaways before the vehicles board ferries or enter the Channel Tunnel. Removing this possibility would also place operators in a difficult situation and make them even more liable for the heavy penalties imposed by UK Border Force when stowaways are found on board vehicles. We urge both governments to maintain the status quo to protect cross-Channel trade, which is of vital importance to both the UK and France.”

Photo: The Port of Dover.

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