The age of consent in France is 15, meaning any relationship between them would not be considered illegal, and French police would not be in a position to arrest Forrest if he is found. Officials said they won’t attempt to track Forrest’s movements through his bank or credit card use either.

French prosecutor Jean-Philippe Joubert said Megan was old enough to travel with Forrest voluntarily, despite the fact they eloped without her parents consent.

Joubert added.‘The couple will only be stopped if they are spotted during an identity check on the road, or if someone recognises them from photos,’ he said.

The pair left Britain last Thursday night after Sussex Police began investigating their relationship and there are already fears in Britain that too little is being done to find them.

The French reaction to the runaways has been much less concerned than in Britain, which is thought to be hindering the search.