E-borders to be ‘genuinely secure’

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Technology will make UK e-borders “genuinely secure, fluid and complete” over the next few years, Immigration Minister Damian Green will say.

And the country’s “strict visa regime” and use of technology to check passengers showed that the government “truly [promoted] border security”.

He will outline the future of the Border Force, which was recently split from the UK Border Agency.

It came after thousands of people were let into the UK without being checked.

‘No compromises’
The Border Force was split from the UK Border Agency to become a separate law-enforcement body, after revelations of officials abandoning rules and going further than ministers had recommended in relaxing checks.

Mr Green will say on Wednesday: “There can be no compromises on border security. In a dangerous world, our border is one of our main protections.”

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It is about making sure that we are in the right place, at the right time, with the right information to stop the source of the threat before it even reaches our shores”

Damian Green
Immigration Minister
About 2.6 million UK visa applications were made last year, with around 200 million passenger journeys across the UK’s borders, he will say.

Outlining the role of e-borders, Mr Green will say: “By April this year we will have advanced sight of details for every passenger on non-EEA (European Economic Area) flights travelling to the UK.

“This 100% coverage puts us in a significantly better position than we were in when we came to power.

“Combined with our strict visa regime it means that all non-EEA passengers arriving from outside Europe will have been checked once, and many twice, while they are still thousands of miles from our passport controls.”

Launched by the last Labour government, the £750m e-borders project is designed to collate and store information on all passengers who enter and leave the UK on a single database by 2014 to enable the police and immigration officials to check them against “watch lists”.

Mr Green will say in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute, central London, that border security “is about making sure that we are in the right place, at the right time, with the right information to stop the source of the threat before it even reaches our shores.”

He will add: “Over the coming years we will work hard with European partners, carriers and trade groups to further extend e-borders coverage to provide genuinely secure, fluid and complete e-borders for the United Kingdom.”
BBC © 2012

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