Select Committee on European Union Written Evidence

Written evidence by the Home Office Border Controls at Calais and Coquelles


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) Order 1994.

  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 airport?

  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 (Eurostar ops).

  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 entry—are they handed over to the French authorities?

  The French authorities are obliged to take back all persons refused entry to the United Kingdom at the juxtaposed controls.

  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

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