15 Nov 2002 : Column 5WS

Written Ministerial Statements

Friday 15 November 2002


French Frontier and Customs Officers

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Blunkett): The Protocol to the Treaty of Canterbury concerning frontier controls which came into force in 1993 allows for French Frontier and Customs Officers to carry their sidearms as an integral part of their national uniform while operating juxtaposed controls in the United Kingdom. The precise conditions which will govern this will be set out formally in a treaty with the French Government towards which we are working. In the meantime, authorities for French officers to carry their firearms while operating juxtaposed controls have been issued by the Home Office. These authorities will be subject to jointly accepted arrangements concerning security and safety set out in the draft treaty. I have placed a copy of the draft treaty in the Library.