Damian Collins, Tory MP for Folkestone and Hythe, who has come out in favour of the remain campaign, said: “This just goes to show the serious threat that is posed to our authority to manage our borders in France and the very real prospect that we could lose that power. French politicians are desperate for those powers to go because they can see it keeps migrants on their side of the Channel.”
He added that although Britain could still turn away migrants landing on its shores, he fears for the chaos it would ensue for the country and its relationship with France.
However, the mayor’s threat provoked an angry response from Tory MP Steve Baker, the co-chairman of Conservatives for Britain, who warned: “The British people will not respond well to blackmail. These are hollow threats. Any immigrants brought over on a ferry to the UK illegally would be sent back to France and the ferry companies would be fined. We want to have friendly relations with all European countries after we Vote Leave. All talk of recrimination is counterproductive.”
Dan Hannan, Tory MEP for South East England, agreed, saying: “If French politicians think the British people respond to bullying or threats, they haven’t read our history.”
Although the migrant camp at Teteghem has gone, there is still a large camp with 1,500 migrants at Grand-Synthe, just outside Dunkirk.