- France plans to close all its borders for a period of 31 days, letter reveals
- This would bring back passport checks on border to Schengen countries
- The move was revealed in a leaked letter to EU officials in Brussels
According to a leaked letter, the French government will temporarily re-introduce controls for a month from next week.
Officials have warned the move is necessary to keep order as it hosts the COP21 United Nations Conference on Climate Change from the end of the month.
It follows moves by other countries in the EU’s border-free Schengen Zone, including Germany, to re-introduce checks during the migrant crisis.
In a letter to EU officials in Brussels, French diplomats notified they were planning to close the borders for a period of 31 days.
The COP21 conference is due to take place from 30 November to 11 December in Paris.
Under EU rules, the 26 European countries that have removed all border checks between each other may temporarily introduce emergency controls ‘if there is a serious threat to public policy or internal security’.
Checks have remained in place on the border with the UK as it is not a member of the Schengen Zone.
The move comes as Austria has defended plans to build a fence on its border with Slovenia, which is also part of the Schengen Zone.
Interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told Austrian newspaper Die Presse: ‘A fence is not a bad thing.’
A French government spokesman last night confirmed the plan saying there was ‘obviously a security issue’ around the COP21 conference. He said it was a routine move and that the European Council and European Commission had been notified.
At least 80 world leaders, including Barack Obama, Xi Jinping, David Cameron are due to attend the talks.