House of Commons Home Affairs Committee
The E–Borders Programme
Third Report of Session 2009–10
E-Borders and the EU
8. We conclude that it is only in exceptional cases, based exclusively on the conduct of the individual concerned rather than as part of a blanket requirement, that an EU Member State can impose any requirement other than simple production of a valid identity document to restrict the entry into or exit from that Member State of an EU citizen. The e-Borders programme is therefore, as far as we can ascertain, likely to be illegal under the EU Treaty.
9. Despite constant reassurances to the contrary, we have seen no proof that UKBA’s predecessors held serious discussions with the European Commission about the e- Borders programme. More recent and frequent efforts by a variety of carriers to clarify these legal issues with UKBA have met with no success. We suspect that UKBA has only recently started to take these issues seriously, possibly as a result of setbacks such as the forced postponement of the programme in relation to air routes to Germany because of national legislation. This is not good enough. UKBA is imposing expensive requirements on the private sector in the name of urgent public good apparently without having confirmed that the requirements are lawful. UKBA must urgently seek an authoritative opinion from the European Commission on this issue, and must make it a priority to discuss all data protection problems with the relevant national bodies.
10. UKBA must report the results of these discussions to us by, at the latest, the end of February. In the meantime, any proposals to extend ‘go live’ to further intra-EU routes must be put on hold.
Seems pretty comprehensive to me.