Mr Redwood’s contribution to the Urgent Question on the Border Force, 4 September 2013

Mr John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): I would like to thank the Minister for a very visible improvement in the performance of the Border Agency over the last year or so, and urge him to work with his staff to ensure that ever-higher standards are achieved by promptly and courteously allowing the legal people in and by ensuring that we find all the illegals at the first point of entry.

The Minister for Immigration (Mr Mark Harper): I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. I know from a conversation we had that he has seen the work that our border officers do in our juxtaposed controls, where attempted illegal entries are prevented from even getting to the United Kingdom. He makes a good point, too, about the rest of the UK Border Agency after the agency’s split into the two component parts of UK visas and immigration and immigration enforcement. It is doing exactly what my right hon. Friend said, which is to welcome those who come to Britain to contribute—skilled workers and students, for example—while deterring those who do not and ensuring that those who overstay their welcome are removed from the country.


  1. Sue
    September 4, 2013

    That’s not what this report says Mr Redwood! Ignoring of course the irony of Labour bringing this up

    “A National Audit Office report found customs checks aimed at thwarting drug and gun smuggling have been overlooked since border security staff came under pressure to cut passenger queues during London 2012”.

    “Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper used an urgent question in the Commons this afternoon to lambast the Government’s response to the report.

    She also criticised Mrs May for not being in Parliament, with Immigration Minister Mark Harper answering questions in her place.

    Mr Harper said the Border Force was hitting seizure targets and detecting illegal immigrants at a higher rate than last year”.

    Targets and comparison rates are irrelevant when the numbers of people entering the UK are increasing, year on year.

    “No wonder they have stopped trying to fingerprint stowaways, it seems like they have stopped trying to catch them at all”.

    I have watched UK Border Force on TV and in most cases, illegal immigrants are released back into the communities where they inevitably disappear. The Border Force have an extremely difficult job identifying those without documentation, so the only failsafe they actually have, is to check & register finger prints. You lot really need to get your act sorted, show Labour that they were the ones that allowed it to come to this!

    When are we going to see these people instantaneously deported or immediately detained until they are deported? Until this happens (and the sham wedding fiasco’s) are sorted out, we will always have a problem with illegals.

    Reply The very poor situaiton of the last decade is being changed by the new Force. The Minister set out the figures with rising numbers of illegals being intercepted, before they got the UK.

    1. zorro
      September 7, 2013

      ‘Enforced removals from the UK decreased by 7% to 14,062 in the year ending June 2013 as compared with the previous 12 months (15,110) and this represents the lowest figure since the series began in 2004.

      The number of passengers refused entry at port and who subsequently departed has fallen by 1% in the year ending June 2013 to 14,134 from 14,236 for the previous 12 months. This follows an ongoing overall fall in these figures, with considerable decreases between the third quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010.’


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