Written evidence by the Home Office Border
Controls at Calais and Coquelles
COMMITTEE VISIT TO COQUELLES AND CALAIS,
8 JANUARY 2008
1. What is the basis in domestic law for
juxtaposed controls in France and other countries?
For all Tunnel-related matters the basis is
the Channel Tunnel Act 1987 and various statutory instruments
which fall out of this, primarily the Channel Tunnel (International
Arrangements) Order 1 and the Channel Tunnel (Miscellaneous Provisions)
For sea-related matters, the basis is the Nationality,
Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 and the Nationality, Immigration
and asylum Act 2002 (Juxtaposed Controls) Order 2003.
2. Are UK immigration officers in Calais
exercising the same powers as those guarding borders at Heathrow
Yes and also searching vehicles but under the
same Immigration Act 1971.
3. Are French immigration officers exercising
equivalent powers on UK soil?
4. With what other countries does the UK
currently have juxtaposed control arrangements?
The UK has a juxtaposed arrangement with Belgium.
Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) staff are stationed at Brussels,
Gare du Midi.
5. Do the respective duties and responsibilities
flow from specific bilateral agreements between the countries
concerned with responsibility for asylum applications, care duties
for minors etc?
The Sangatte Protocol (Eurotunnel Ops).
Additional Protocol to the Sangatte Protocol
The Treaty of Le Touquet (ferry operations).
6. How many people have been refused entry
to the UK by immigration officers stationed in Calais since the
juxtaposed control arrangements have been in place? What happens
to people refused entryare they handed over to the French
The French authorities are obliged to take back
all persons refused entry to the United Kingdom at the juxtaposed
There have been 10,766 refused leave to enter
the United Kingdom by Immigration Officers in Calais.
7. Who is in charge when people are held
in Calais following a refusal of entry by the UK border authorities?
Does HM Inspector of Prisons have any statutory powers to inspect holding
centres in connection with juxtaposed controls?
All persons detained are in the care of Border
& Immigration Agency with the responsibility contracted out
to G4S. Our holding facilities are subject to inspection by HMIP
and have been so inspected.
8. How do the French immigration authorities
check that those to whom they have given temporary consent to
enter France have left?
They do not. The only check is when someone
is detained and discovered to be unlawfully there.
9. For what sorts of periods do the French
immigration authorities allow people to enter? Do they alert the
British authorities to names of over-stayers?
Persons admitted to France for a limited period
are allowed to stay for 90 days. To stay longer they have to apply
to their local prefecture for a residence permit. Such permits
tend to be renewable annually.
No. Firstly, the law relating to data protection
in France is very strict and the possibility for the exchange
of data very limited. Secondly, it is only recently that the French
interior ministry has sought to establish a database of those
who are known to be liable to removal. This database, called ELOI,
was in its initial form ruled to be unconstitutional by the courts
in 2007. A revised set of data, smaller than the first version,
has now been adopted. The database remains a sensitive issue and
any suggestion that its contents could be shared with the British
authorities would be controversial. Public debate on ELOI was
re-ignited in the last week in an article in Nouvel Observateur.
16 January 2008