French minister claims a Brexit could relocate Calais 'jungle' to Britain

EU Council president has urged migrants not to come to Europe

Brexit, Calais, jungle, UK, France, Emmanuel Macron, David Cameron, Bernard Cazeneuve,

Workers clear items from the Calais migrant camp known as the 'Jungle' | Image: Gareth Fuller / PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Calais "jungle" refugee camp could be relocated to Britain if the UK chooses to leave the European Union, according to France's economy minister.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Emmanuel Macron warned that Brexit would threaten the bilateral relationship between the UK and France.

He said the Le Touquet Agreement - which allows British authorities to conduct border checks on the French side of the Channel, thereby keeping illegal migrants out - could be scrapped if the UK decides leaves the EU.

"The day this relationship unravels, migrants will no longer be in Calais and the financial passport would work less well," Mr Macron said.

The newspaper also reported that Mr Macron believes many financial services workers will leave London for France once their institutions lose the "passport" rights to work across the EU.

The comments come ahead of an Anglo-French summit in Amiens today attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande.

The two leaders are expected to announce €1.94bn of investment in a joint project to build the next generation of unmanned military drones.

They will also discuss how the two countries can work together to fight terrorism in Europe.

"Scaremongering over immigration"

Mr Macron's comments echo sentiments expressed by Downing Street last month, when it claimed the Calais camp could move to England's south overnight if Britain leaves the EU.

Eurosceptics accused Number 10 of "scaremongering over immigration" at the time.

Demolition teams and riot officers moved into the Calais camp this week to clear migrants, refugees and activists from the site during an attempt to reduce its size.

Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin, who is part of the Vote Leave campaign, said Mr Macron's remarks contradicted recent comments from French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, and accused him of speaking at Downing Street's behest.

Mr Jenkin told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "What we are having now is propaganda being produced by other European governments at the request of the Prime Minister to try to scare people (out of) voting Leave".

"It is obviously the safer thing for the UK to take back control over our borders, over our laws, over the money we send to the EU because then we can control our relations with our European partners".

EU Council President Donald Tusk, meanwhile, urged migrants not to come to Europe telling them: "Do not come to Europe. Do not believe the smugglers. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing".