Letter in The Times regarding Calais

My letter in today's Times


Sir, One can sympathise with French anguish over the atrocities they have borne during the last year, but some of their current proposed responses are wildly irrational. First among these is the threat to abandon the Le Touquet agreement, as you report (Aug 30). The UK response would have to be to make it wholly uneconomic for ferry, rail and hauliers to be party to illegal immigration, through the use of massive fines. Calais would remain a magnet but its economy would be seriously undermined and the problem would remain in France.

Second is the Burkini nonsense. At least Alain Juppé now seems to be showing some responsibility in trying to speak for the whole of France. The French of north African descent have not had a mainstream centre-right voice and they deserve one. It is in the interests and the spirit of the French Republic that its establishment, as well as its prisons (report, Aug 23), are open to all of its citizens.

Crispin Blunt MP
Chairman, foreign affairs select committee, House of Commons