France threatens to pull out of borderless scheme

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The French government says that if the European Union doesn't agree on a tougher line to fight illegal immigration it will pull out of Schengen borderless travel zone within a year.

French Interior Minister Claude Gueant says many of the EU nations back a Franco-German proposal that includes a reintroduction of national border controls for a month if a country is faced with a sudden surge of illegal immigration.

Under current rules, the Schengen zone of 25 European nations protects its common outside borders only and allows free travel inside the member nations. A large majority of participating nations must agree for any change to come into force.