• Calais Border Controls

    14 February 2018

    Dear Constituent

    Thank you for contacting me about Calais. 
    Juxtaposed controls play a hugely important role in protecting our national security and have significant economic value for both the UK and France, creating a smooth border and making trade more efficient. Having UK border controls based in France allows Border Force officers to check passengers and freight destined for the UK in France, ensuring action can be taken against illegal migrants, those trying to smuggle people into the UK and criminals attempting to bring illegal goods into the country, before they reach British soil. The supplementary agreement signed in January 2018 demonstrates the UK and France's long-term commitment to the future of the juxtaposed controls, recognising that they are in the common interest.
    Since the juxtaposed controls were introduced, the number of asylum claims made in the UK has decreased dramatically. Before the controls were in place, asylum claims reached over 84,000 a year, three times higher than the 26,617 claims in 2016/17. The reduction in claims has significantly reduced the impact on public services and the UK taxpayer, with every reduction by 10,000 asylum claims saving the UK at least £70 million in costs.
    The UK has a shared interest in cooperating with France to manage migratory pressures. The support announced as part of the UK France Summit will help ensure migrant camps do not reform and that those willing to engage with the asylum system in France can claim asylum there. It also includes working with France to facilitate the return of migrants with no legal right to be in Europe to countries further upstream where they can be lawfully admitted. Cooperation with France on migration and our shared border is a long term commitment. Just as investment is made in our borders around the rest of the UK, it is only right that the Government constantly monitor whether there is more it can be doing at the UK border controls in France and Belgium.
    Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.

    Yours sincerely

    Mel Stride

    MP for Central Devon

    Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General