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 Post subject: Home Affairs Committee: evidence on eBorders
PostPosted: Fri, 05 Mar 2010 09:03:47 +0000 
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http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Playe ... ingId=5987

HOC HOME AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
Tuesday 2 March

Wilson Room
Meeting started on Tuesday 2 March 2010 at 10.30am
ended at 12.31pm

Work of the UK Border Agency
Witnesses
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
Witnesses
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.

_________________
Andrew Watson


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 Post subject: Re: Home Affairs Committee: evidence on eBorders
PostPosted: Fri, 05 Mar 2010 12:10:49 +0000 
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Thanks Andrew.

In relation to this, there are interesting points made in the Home Affairs Committee - Third Report - The E-Borders Programme
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /17002.htm

and in evidence supplied to the committee e.g.
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... 17we21.htm

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... 063001.htm

My general impression: prescribing from the centre, ignorance of practicalities on the ground (e.g. aviation travel is not the same as ferry travel) and/or not being bothered because the onus is on the travel industry to comply with domestic law, not being bothered about EU law because it would be the travel industry that would break the law, not the UKBA. Also a high turnover at senior positions at UKBA.


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PostPosted: Fri, 05 Mar 2010 15:24:37 +0000 
interesting evidence by Louise Perrett in the same session about the blatant unprofessionalism of the UKBA.

The Home Office is a joke!


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