Thousands of migrants are stranded in northern Greece after Macedonia closed its border earlier this week
They will not be affected by new EU deal, which will see some migrants arriving from tomorrow sent back to Turkey Migrants arriving from March 20 will be interviewed to determine if they can stay with deportations starting in April
These haunting pictures show the last desperate migrants who reached the Greek-Macedonia border just hours before a controversial EU deal starts.
Hundreds of families have set up camp in northern Greece following Macedonia's refusal to open its border to migrants.
Tents daubed with 'open the border' have been erected in the middle of a miles-long train track as hundreds wait surrounded by mud and litter.
While they are stranded in northern Greece, they will not be subject to the new EU agreement, which comes into force tomorrow and will see some migrants sent back to Turkey in a 'one in, one out' scheme.
Any migrant arriving in Greece from March 20 will be given a swift individual interview to determine whether they will be allowed to remain or sent back, with deportations starting on April 4.
Today's pictures, taken at Idomeni refugee camp, emerged after EU leaders accepted the new deal following less than an hour of discussions.
The prime ministers of Finland and the Czech Republic yesterday tweeted from inside the European Council negotiations to announce that the 28 leaders had given their approval to the arrangement.
But David Cameron faces a Tory backlash over the high price of the deal, which includes billions of pounds in aid and the fast-tracking of Turkey’s application to join the EU.
It will also involve a controversial swap arrangement that, in return for those sent back from Greece to Turkey, will see the EU allow in an equal number of Syrian refugees from camps in Turkey – although Mr Cameron insisted none would come to Britain.
Even as they agreed the deal, Turkish officials said they had intercepted 3,000 migrants trying to make the crossing to the Greek island of Lesbos.
A spokesman for European Council president Donald Tusk said that the agreement made clear that any removals would have to be 'in full compliance with international and EU law' and that there would be no 'collective expulsions'.
He added: 'The cut-off date is March 20 - that is on Sunday. All migrants arriving after that cut-off date will be returned after individual assessment.'
The agreement received backing from the United States, who said it was an 'important step' in the bid to curb the influx of migrants arriving in Europe through Greece.
John Kirby, a state department spokesman, said: 'We strongly endorse action to shut down the illegal smuggling operations that prey on and exploit vulnerable migrants.
'We commend language in the agreement affirming that all refugees deserve access to protection and which makes clear the agreement will be implemented in full accordance with EU and international law.'
But on Saturday morning, government officials in Greece signaled that implementation of a migration agreement could only be implemented gradually.
They claimed key details still needed to be worked out including how migrants newly arriving from Turkey will be processed and returned.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met with ministers and senior officials involved in the agreement hours after the deal was reached in Brussels.
Yiannis Balafas, the deputy interior minister, said swift screening procedures in the Greek islands would require additional staff promised by the European Union.