Monday 20 February 2012

500,000 passengers allowed to enter Britain on Eurostar without border checks


Home Secretary Theresa May told the House of Commons that border security checks at ports had been suspended regularly and applied inconsistently for more than four years. Mrs May also said students from low risk countries had been allowed to enter Britain even when they did not have visa clearance. She said the practice was unlawful and discriminatory. John Vine, the independent chief inspector of the UK Border Agency, launched an investigation after it emerged the UK's border checks were being relaxed at ports and airports without ministerial approval. His report found that border staff went "over and beyond" any scheme approved by ministers. It also discovered that the biometric chip reading facility had been deactivated on 14,812 occasions at a number of ports between January and June 2011.