The issue has become a bone of contention between the Liberal and Social Liberal parties – opponents in the general election but allies in the European parliament – after Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said he wanted temporary border control, implemented by Denmark as an emergency measure in 2016, to become permanent.
Now the Conservatives, a junior partner in Rasmussen’s government, have come out against the proposal.
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“We do not support permanent border control. We do support Schengen, and that is not compatible with permanent border control,” Abildgaard said.
“But we do support continuation of the temporary border control and do not envisage that disappearing in the near future. It has been extended more than ten times and we think it will be extended at least a couple more,” she added.
The temporary border measures currently in place must be implemented periodically. That requires Denmark to notify the EU of implementations and their intended duration.
In his comments on the issue, Rasmussen called for a “new Schengen regime that will give us more political ownership of our own borders”.
Abildgaard said the current political framework had not given cause for reform.
“So far, it has not been problematic to extend border control. It has been done successfully many times and we expect it to be possible in future,” the Conservative MP said.
“If that is suddenly no longer the case, we will have to look at this. But we have no reason to believe that we cannot extend border control,” she said.