Dartford lawyer Elizabeth Jones challenges Theresa May to move migrant Jungle from Calais to north Africa as she ramps up Ukip leadership bid
PUBLISHED: 12:04 02 September 2016
Ms Jones has presented a ‘plan B’ in anticipation of a new French government next year and the end of Britain’s current border deal
Ukip leadership candidate Elizabeth Jones has called on the prime minister to work with French officials to move the migrant Jungle from Calais to north Africa.
The Dartford family lawyer wants Theresa May to take up her alternative option for the camp and wider migrant crisis ahead of threats from some French politicians to pull the plug on the current joint border control deal.
Already all three leading French Presidential candidates to replace François Hollande next April, have declared they will tear up the Le Touquet Treaty which permits Britain to control its border on French soil.
Home secretary Amber Rudd appeared to strike a deal in Paris this week to ensure Le Touquet remains, but a change of premiership across the Channel next year could have huge ramifications.
“The British government has absolutely no plan for what to do if and when the French government changes next year and the slightest step wrong could spark the most serious immigration threat ever
faced by this country,” Ms Jones said.
“We would be faced with having to close the Channel Tunnel and stopping the ferries, but even then there would be nothing to stop migrants from walking or sailing on their own to Britain.”
Ms Jones’ proposed ‘Plan B’ will see her extend a hand of friendship to all three of the main anti-Hollande candidates – Nicolas Sarkozy, Alain Juppé and Marine Le Pen – to agree a new external refugee resettlement initiative.
She said: “I want a funded programme, using our vast overseasaid pot, which will see the dismantling of the Jungle encampment in its entirety and a new resettlement community be designed, built and equipped, ready and waiting to receive refugees at a location much nearer to where these migrants originate.
“I have identified site options in Maghrebian North Africa [Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia], which has the benefit of being stable, relatively prosperous, mainly Muslim, and where French and English are widely spoken.
“The new external refugee resettlement community would be agreed with the host government, who would be fully funded for its role, and act as a model for more resettlement communities to be established elsewhere if needed.”
She said Voluntary Services Overseas, the British Council and other parts of the network of agencies for refugees such as immigration officials, would all be in place at the resettlement community site, with all the non-governmental organisations such as the Red Cross and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees being welcome as well.
Under her plan, all asylum applications to Britain would be assessed whilst at the resettlement community and they would only be removed if unsuccessful and subsequently deported, or if they wished to return to their original homes.
Ms Jones is currently something of an outsider in the leadership race, with south east MEP and former Rochester schoolgirl Diane James emerging as the favourite to replace Nigel Farage.