The one piece of France that will remain forever England even after Brexit: Kent police station to stay on French soil after January 1 (and clocks will still be set to British time)
- Kent Police will retain its station at Coquelles, near Calais, after Brexit
- Arrangement agreed by Margaret Thatcher and Francoise Mitterand in 1980s
- Kent Police is the only constabulary to have a station on foreign soil
A part of France is set to remain forever English and even have the clocks set to British time despite Brexit.
Kent Police is to retain its station operating on foreign soil at Coquelles, near Calais, where the Channel Tunnel surfaces in France after Britain officially leaves the EU.
The site is shared with Border Force and Customs and Excise officers, and is treated as English soil.
The site in Coquelles, France, has been in British hands since an agreement in the 1980s between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President Francoise Mitterand under the 1986 Treaty of Canterbury
Crimes committed there are judged by British law in English courts and even the clocks run to English time.
But the special arrangement is not connected to Britain’s membership of the EU.
Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix confirmed the site will remain in the hands of Kent Police
Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable Claire Nix said: ‘Kent Police has built a strong and long-lasting relationship with French authorities which, under the terms of a bi-lateral agreement, allows Kent officers to be stationed in Coquelles and French officers to be based in Kent to help conduct border policing.
‘This bi-lateral agreement is between Kent Police and its French partner agencies, which is not affected by the circumstances of any deal between the UK Government and the European Union.’
It was agreed between then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and French President Francoise Mitterand under the 1986 Treaty of Canterbury.
The situation is not without historic precedent. Edward III captured Calais in 1347, and the French officially ceded sovereignty to the English 13 years later. It remained English soil until 1557, when the French regained it.