http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Playe ... ingId=5987
HOC HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Tuesday 2 March
Meeting started on Tuesday 2 March 2010 at 10.30am
ended at 12.31pm
Work of the UK Border Agency
i. Louise Perrett
ii. John Vine, Chief Inspector, UK Border Agency
iii. Lin Homer, Chief Executive UK Border Agency
Work of the British Transport Police
i. Chief Constable Andy Trotter, British Transport Police
You can watch the proceedings at the above URL until March 2011, provided you're happy to have Microsoft Silverlight installed on your machine.
From 1:21 to 1:39 Lin Homer answers questions about eBorders. It's hard to summarise her 20 minutes of opaque mandarin-speak, but it seems that:
1. There's been no change in the stalemate between UKBA and the EU. The Commission still says that eBorders' requirement for carriers to collect data from passengers to send to UKBA in advance of travel is illegal, and UKBA still seems to be hoping that this problem will go away if ignored. The travel industry has asked UKBA for the legal advice that backs up the requirements that UKBA is trying to impose on carriers, but it hasn't been produced.
2. There's also little change in the stalemate between UKBA and the travel industry, especially ferries at the port of Dover. Apparently the ferry representatives have said that UKBA "just don't get it".
3. UKBA seems to be making a veiled threat that any EU citizen that exercises his/her right not to hand over data to UKBA in advance of travel will instead be significantly delayed at the UK border. Surely this also breaks the freedom-of-movement principles that the Commission is enforcing?
4. UKBA says eBorders does have the legal and technical capability to be an "Authority to Carry" scheme - i.e. the carriers can only transport someone to or from the UK Border with UKBA permission. This makes eBorders into an implementation mechanism for exit visas for the UK, since if UKBA withholds its permission to travel, and the scheme has 100% coverage as UKBA desires, the passenger will not be able to find a carrier that will take them out of the country. As previously noted, UKBA wants eBorders also to apply to some internal routes within the UK, and also to travel within the Common Travel Area (UK, Rep. of Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Islands).
5. The discussion was all implicitly about UKBA wanting to know who is currently crossing the UK border. There was no mention at any point of eBorders' capability to store everyone's personal travel details for 10 years.