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21st July 2021 - Press Release

Port of Dover welcomes Anglo-French funding package to tackle migrant crossings

As the port where many of the migrants attempting to cross the Channel are brought to by Border Force, the Port of Dover welcomes the additional funding pledged by the UK Government as a positive step forward. However, the Port insists that the UK Government must provide more direct financial support still urgently needed in Dover itself.

Border controls operate under the Treaty of Le Touquet, which enables UK border entry checks to be carried out in France and French border entry checks to be carried out in Dover.

The fundamental purpose of the treaty was to help enable illegal migrants to be intercepted while they were still in France and thus prevented from travelling to the UK. It has been a crucial part of cross-Channel border management for the past two decades. Since leaving the EU, these border checks have become lengthier and more intrusive.

In 2019, the Port finalised its Outbound Controls Project, which would both double border control processing capacity and deliver a more effective ordering of those controls. By mitigating the impact of these lengthier checks and keeping traffic flowing, the project’s successful delivery would maintain the integrity of the Treaty of Le Touquet.

However, the Port of Dover still needs government funding to deliver the Outbound Control Project in order to support vital trade flows and a key market for international tourism when it returns. The Port therefore calls on the government to meet its obligations under the treaty to ensure that in addition to the supplementary funding that has just been announced, the main measure for border control between France and the key gateway port of Dover, and the necessary traffic fluidity for legitimate trade and tourism it should facilitate, continues to provide the intended benefits.

ENDS

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