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Eurotunnel unveils drones ahead of 'Brexit migrant surge'

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Media captionEurotunnel has unveiled two new drones

The Brexit decision could see a surge of migrants trying to enter the UK from France amid fears the Anglo-French border could end up like the Berlin Wall, the head of Eurotunnel has said.

Jacques Gounon said last week's vote gave migrants a clear signal the border would become "almost impossible to overcome".

The firm has unveiled two new drones to boost security on the French side.

Mr Gounon said he feared increased migrant pressure this summer.

"I'm afraid that any Brexit consequences could give a threat to migrants that they could be prevented from going to the UK - definitively going to the UK - in the years to come," he said.

"This could generate an additional new migrant pressure, in order for such people, desperately, to reach the UK before Brexit is enforced.

"So I do think and I'm afraid that we could have an increased migrant pressure during this summer, as a Brexit consequence."

'Border review'

Mr Gounon said Eurotunnel did not support the idea of moving the UK border from the current locations.

Eurotunnel and cross-Channel ferry services operate at different sites, and the rights for British Border Force officials to carry out checks at Coquelles and the Port of Calais were established under different treaties.

Image caption Eurotunnel has unveiled two new drones to boost security on the French side

He said Eurotunnel had worked very efficiently with the UK Border Force to protect the site for 25 years and added: "I don't see what could be done more."

He said the new drones would increase the speed of response, but added: "There is no interest at all, from the shuttle point of view, to have an additional border control in Folkestone, at the end of the tunnel."

After Thursday's referendum, the mayor of Calais called for changes to how the Anglo-French border is run.

Currently, Britain can carry out checks in Calais to stop migrants trying to reach the UK, but Ms Bouchart said the French were in a strong position to request a review.

The French authorities had warned before the referendum that a vote for leaving the EU could see a camp with thousands of migrants being moved from Calais to British soil.

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