Calais’s regional president in France suggested asylum seekers in the port city should be allowed to apply for UK asylum in France.
For now migrants are able to make such a claim in case they reached Britain, which put their lives at risk.
Xavier Bertrand told the BBC that the Calais-based migrants should be able to go to designated “hotspots”
in France and apply for refuge in the UK. In other cas,e Bertrand said, France would then deport these migrants back to their country of origin.
Such a plan involves that some amendments are necessary for existing Treaty of Le Touquet between France and the UK, when migrants have to be in the U.K. to make an asylum claim.
But now this means that nearly 9,000 migrants in Calais are trying to get to British Isles illegaly.
The U.K. Home Office maintains that it has a good relationship with France on immigration and protecting the Calais border. It has also said that under the EU-wide Dublin Regulation, migrants must seek asylum in the first safe country they enter.
But a lot of French politicians support Bertrand’s idea to change or scrap the treaty.
The former British ambassador to Paris, Sir Peter Ricketts, said on Monday that such a change won’t bring nothing good and even worsen Calais’s problems“As soon as you [suggest] that, there would be a huge magnet pulling thousands and thousands more migrants into Calais to chance their arm, make an asylum claim, hope that they might get to the U.K.,”