French President François Hollande has warned Britain that leaving the EU could result with “consequences” for both UK’s economy and immigration matters.
President Hollande has highlighted his hopes for Britain to stay in the EU during a summit with PM Cameron. The French president warned that Brexit might mean “consequences” for the UK, including the prospect of a border relocation.
Earlier today, French economy minister Emmanuel Marcon threatened that France might be tempted to tear the agreement made with the British border police in the case of a vote to leave during next June’s EU referendum.
Le Touquet agreement is a bilateral treaty made with France which allows British police to operate on the French side of the border. It is aimed at avoiding immigrants from travelling across the channel without being checked.
In recent times the agreement has prevented Syrian refugees from accessing the channel tunnel to enter the UK. Though, this has resulted in the formation of the “Jungle” refugee camps in Calais.
Xavier Bertrand, president of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region recently said “If Britain leaves Europe, right away the border will leave Calais and go to Dover. We will not continue to guard the border for Britain if it’s no longer in the European Union.”
During today’s press conference, when asked whether this could be a possibility, Hollande said: “There will be consequences if the UK is to leave the EU, there will be consequences in many areas, in the single market, in the financial trade, in development, in the economic development between our two countries.”
“It doesn’t mean that everything will be destroyed, I don’t want to give you catastrophic scenarios, but there will be consequences.” he added.
The French President said that the historical relationship between the two countries won’t be affected by a Brexit but there will definitely be changes in immigration agreements. He criticised the current British system for not doing enough to reunite Syrian refugees with their families in the UK.
President Hollande backs Cameron’s campaign to stay in the EU. The Prime Minister explained that this summit is not part of a government-orchestrated campaign aimed at scaring the British population.
“Lots of people are making their views known, people all over the world, and we can choose to either to listen to them or not to listen to them,” he said.
Subedited: Aylin Kaya