Government wrong about border security, says Durham academic
(14 January 2016)
A Durham University academic accused the government of attempting to mislead the public about border checks. In reply to a Parliamentary question from DUP MP Jim Shannon, the Immigration Minister James Brokenshire claimed the UK carries out ‘full checks on all arriving passengers in order to identify any criminal, security and immigration concerns’ in a written statement on Wednesday.
Professor Thom Brooks, a leading immigration law specialist at Durham University, argues that the government’s reply is not correct. Professor Brooks said: ‘It is simply untrue that “full checks” are made on every person who arrives in the UK from another country to our airports’.
The UK is part of a Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man. While the Republic of Ireland conducts passport checks of passengers coming to Irish airports, Britain does not reciprocate with passport checks at its airports. Arriving passengers typically walk straight to baggage collection and the exit without passing through any border control checks on the ground.
Professor Brooks does not argue the Common Travel Area should end, but he does urge the Immigration Minister to set the record straight by correcting his inaccurate response on border security to Mr Shannon. ‘There is no good reason why the UK cannot conduct checks at all ports like the Irish’, said Brooks. ‘This minor inconvenience for passengers could improve border security for all and make checks in this travel area more consistent’.