23 February 2004
BRUSSELS – The United Kingdom is considering posting immigration officials at the Eurostar terminal at Brussels’ Gare du Midi, the UK interior minister confirmed this weekend.
Speaking in an interview with ‘The People’ newspaper, David Blunkett explained the UK was considering the initiative in a bid to deter would-be asylum seekers from trying to cross from mainland Europe into Britain.
According to Belgian news agency Belga, Belgium’s Interior Minister Patrick Dewael has already agreed in principle to the move.
It is understood he will travel to London in mid-April to sign a formal agreement on the planned new measures.
The UK already has a similar arrangement in place with France.
In September 2002, Belgium, France and the UK signed a joint agreement in which they pledged to work together to tackle illegal immigration.
UK immigration officers are already present in Belgium, but they are only allowed to accompany their Belgian counterparts.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Belgian news