European or UK borders?

The current chaos in Calais is no advert for common borders and EU involvement in migration policy. The introduction of the Schengen system of no borders between most EU countries has to be coupled with a strong border wherever a  Schengen EU country shares a frontier or faces across the sea  to a non  EU nation. France has found out that her border with Italy allows many illegal migrants to come from Italy, because the original Italian frontier was not strongly policed. The EU shows no ability to settle fair and acceptable rules over legal admissions, nor any great ability to police its borders through its various member states governments.

The UK is half in and half out of the EU system. Not in Schengen, the UK can police its border to some extent. Under EU rules however, it is not free to make all the decisions it might like on benefits, treatment of migrants on arrival, and rejection of claims to asylum or residence. Many of these matters for the UK are influenced or affected by EU and ECHR law. The Schengen borderless area was agreed between some EU states in 1985, and incorporated into the EU Treaties at Amsterdam in 1999.Labour did opt us out of most of that, but opted us into the police and judicial co-operation arrangements and the Schengen Information System. Conservatives opposed Schengen and Amsterdam at the time.

The UK is currently seeking the co-operation of the French authorities to improve security at the UK’s frontier in Calais. Their willingness to improve security is important to us, and it is right that the UK supplies support to the task of improving security. However, we want a longer term and more satisfactory solution than each night police having to resist attacks upon the fences, trains and lorries by people desperate to reach the UK by illegal means. That requires changes to UK and EU policy.

France may like to revisit Schengen with her partners and see if she can reduce the numbers entering France from Italy, Spain and other EU neighbours. That is not something the UK will have much influence over. There are few signs that the common migration policy works or is about the be reformed sensibly.

The UK is seeking to toughen its stance, to send a message to would be illegal migrants that getting to the UK is not a good idea for them. The UK  announced under the Coalition  that illegals will not have access to housing, bank accounts, driving licences, benefits and the rest. The new government is now seeking to put in place detailed legislation and administration to make sure that happens.

Yesterday came the news that landlords will be expected to evict illegal migrants when they  are told by the Home Office that their asylum claim has failed. I have no problem with criminal sanctions being taken against the small minority of landlords who  allow all too many illegal migrants to rent space in  overcrowded properties for high  rents for the whole house, knowing their tenants will keep quiet about conditions because they are not legally settled here. I trust decent landlords will not end up in prison because they have made a mistake about an individual’s residence status, or have been misled by false or misleading documents.

The BBC Today and World at One programmes did some good interviews of Ministers on this topic. They stressed that surely the prime duty to sort this out should rest with the Home Office. The issue is why doesn’t the Home Office move quickly to ask people to leave and help them leave the country as soon as their case is settled? The government points out that it does do this in a number of cases.  The choice surely is a simple one. If someone is illegal that means they should leave the country. If they are granted asylum or residence for other reasons they should be properly supported. We wish to avoid a third category of people who are not legally entitled to be here, yet who qualify for inadequate support, finding it difficult to do much by legal means owing to the tougher rules.

Meanwhile this tragedy is argument enough for the UK to regain control over her own borders, welfare and housing policies.


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  1. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    It certainly shows the paralysis induced by the EU to regional governments. BBC Hardtalk yesterday had the deputy mayor of Calais informing us that Calais itself cannot manage the problem..the increasing jungle population. So its bounced up to the French government and then…not a lot for far too long.

    I don’t quite understand how a direct threat to the well being of the UK has to exist for?

    Some say/said that the e-tunnel would be a problem eventually. Perhaps, but the EU is the persistent and bulging problem..self serving and completely ineffective.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      My Mum said from the start that it was a mistake to build it, “They will all be over here.” But Mrs Thatcher knew better.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Mrs Thatcher was right, the tunnel has been a great boon to tourism, trade and cultural ties. Thank Goodness she stood firm that it should be privately financed at least at the UK end. The fact that the benefits system and the incompetence of the French govt are encouraging illegal migration cannot be blamed on the tunnel.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 5, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

          I remember making the wise decision not to invest myself at the time and advising everyone who asked me likewise. The initial financials and revenues they indicated always looked like complete cloud cuckoo land to me. They proved to be exactly that very quickly.

          Still at least it was therefore largely funded by private sector, innumerate, dreamers and not by me.

          Reply I advised Mrs Thatcher not to put a penny of taxpayer money into the Channel tunnel project, and she agreed.

          • Richard1
            Posted August 5, 2015 at 8:09 am | Permalink

            I remember there were loud voices at the time calling for public money. If the project had been initiated 10 years earlier it would have been a 100% govt financed white elephant. Mrs Thatcher showed great foresight and courage in insisting on private money takimg the risk.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 5, 2015 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            Well done JR in saving the taxpayer, also largely finance by the as French I recall.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 5, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          Well, the tunnel is the preferred route into the UK for the invaders, sorry refugees, camping out at Calais, is it not?

  2. Anonymous
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    The main problem isn’t illegal immigration.

    There is no vetting or points system for unsustainable levels of legal immigration, which is putting a far greater strain on resources than those who come illegally.

    The situation at Calais is a result of two things: Britain is a soft touch and that there is the technology to transmit, in an instant, the news that Britain is a soft touch. It was innevitible that such news would spread and that people would scramble to get here, across safe countries – manifestly economic migration.

    Calais is a useful and noisy reminder for all that the government would prefer us to be ignorant of. That our country is now a free for all. (Except those who pay for it) Had it not been so visible and embarassing we can guarantee that the situation would have been accepted.

    It was obvious to all except, it seems, the British Government what sending the Navy to assist in the people smuggling operations in the Med would do.

    Remember that this really started with our lax entry standards and easy welfare towards poor Europeans and to lazy Britons. Then the third world got to hear about it.

    We will never balance the books nor maintain our peoples’ standard of living so long as all we have is up for grabs. The best run and least indebted countries operate a strict entry system where only people with skills or wealth can come.

    Their version of legal immigration is a lot more stringent than ours.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      The Labour government announced to the world that the UK was no longer a country with a policy of “would-be zero” immigration, instead it was now “a country of immigration” actively seeking to increase its population by attracting new people from abroad.

      Just as a French politician referred to “Europe, a land of immigration” in 2000:

      “France has told its European partners that Europe should be prepared to take in millions of migrants in the next 50 years to offset population decline.

      The idea was put forward in a discussion document at Friday’s meeting of European interior and justice ministers, which France is hosting in Marseille.

      The document has been drawn up by France’s Interior Minister, Jean-Pierre Chevenement.

      He uses forthright language in what amounts to a wake-up call to European governments to start opening up to more legal immigration.

      He says that Europe, a land of immigration, will become a place where racial mixing occurs and public opinion needs to be enlightened and convinced. ”

      The Tories have never refuted this idea.

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        “The Tories have never refuted this idea”

        Well we’re finding out the truth about the Tories now.

        • APL
          Posted August 5, 2015 at 6:04 am | Permalink

          “Well we’re finding out the truth about the Tories now.”

          Should have paid more attention in class.

  3. Old Albion
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Quote .. Meanwhile this tragedy is argument enough for the UK to regain control over her own borders, welfare and housing policies.

    Which we cannot do as members of the EU !!!

    • Alan
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      But we do control the border at Calais. That is what the problem is about. If it was up to the EU (i.e. if we had joined the Schengen agreement) there would be no border, and no problem.

      • zorro
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely…. Instead, there would be a monumental one in country instead with your preferred scenario!


      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        So how many of Africa’s 1.2 billion population, set to rise to 4 billion by 2100, would you like to come here to share our country?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 5, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          A question the dreamers will never address.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 5, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

            I’ve asked Alan that very straightforward question several times now, and got no reply. Why not? It wouldn’t take long for him to type “100,000”, or “1,000,000”, or “10,000,000”, or “100,000,000” or “1,000,000,000”, or whatever he reckons would be a suitable number.

      • alan jutson
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Permalink


        Yes we do control the entry to the Boats and Train at Calais and other points of entry, and a good job too.
        Can you imagine the problems at Ashford and Dover if we did not, given the French attitude to people who want to leave France

        illegals claiming asylum would by then be on UK soil before they are found, then try deporting them back to France with no paperwork.

        Immigration control abroad is the one good thing our Government negotiated.

  4. JJE
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    We need to close Dover while the fencing is put in place in Calais and reopen it allowing only the amount of traffic that can be fully and thoroughly checked.
    You can’t blame the EU for everything. The argument would carry more weight if our own Border Force was properly resourced and run.

  5. agricola
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I feel sorry for Teressa May, our position in the EU leaves her between a rock and a hard place, irrespective of her personal views. Being in government she cannot express her views and expect to be believed. The situation leaves the Home Office hog tied and ineffective.

    Poorly drafted or misguided legislation allows the legal profession to run rings round the will of the people and government. My view is that:-

    1. If you seek asylum, you should seek it in the first EU country you enter. It does not work because the entry countries do not wish it to work, so they ignore the rules and pass them on. Alternatively the asylum seeker could apply at the UK Embassy of the first country they enter if their goal is the UK.

    2. If you are an economic migrant do not apply to the UK unless you know that the UK wants your particular skills.

    3. Anticipate a thorough medical examination on any application in 1&2 above. Years ago we eradicated TB and other third world diseases from the UK. They are now reappearing. You do not need to be a doctor to work out why.

    Your very last sentence holds the key. While we belong to the EU and subscribe to it’s rules there is no chance of controlling immigration or of removing all the illegals in the UK. Under EU rules we cannot be selective about the 600,000 plus who came to the UK in 2014, and the vast numbers each year since labour last entered office.

    The idiot new rule for landlords must have been drafted by a person in a permanent state of intoxication. If a bone fide landlord suspects one of his tenants is an illegal he should be able to phone the Border Force for immediate action. If the landlord is feeding on the problem he should be prosecuted.

    • Timaction
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      The Landlord legislation would appear to be rushed out to give the impression that the Government is doing something. It is plainly ridiculous and supposed as a scare to unscrupulous Landlords who will ignore it as I’m sure they wont be paying tax either. If the Border Force or whatever knows where an illegal immigrant is why don’t they go and pick them up and deport them? I am told the Minister interviewed on the BBC had no answer when they were repeatedly asked this. It’s estimated that there are 2 million illegal migrants in the UK. What are the Government doing about that? Very little/nothing.
      I watched a news report last night where a migrant was picked up in the Med by OUR Navy, taken to Italy where he and his friends obviously made their way to soft touch Britain aided by the officials from all Countries to Calais. All migrants know we’re a soft touch. He then entered the UK under a truck. All of this is easily prevented if the Government was serious about protecting our borders. They are not! He was given free food and accommodation an initial benefit of £90 then £36 a week pocket money ad infinitum. He was hopeful that his family would be able to come from Sudan in the future! I’m sure they will. Mean while we have homeless servicemen and women and pensioners who cannot make ends meet and 900,000 using food banks.
      I’m seeing my accountant tomorrow to finalise my tax affairs for last year and for the first time in my life I will be trying to legally avoid every bit of tax possible. I have had enough of our useless legacy parties and the rule from Brussels imposed on me at my expense and against my family, friends and all other English people I know wishes. It is not my fault I’m one of the 4 million represented by one MP whilst the SNP and Liberals have 64 MP’s and 1.5 million voters. Our democracy and Country is broken.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 5, 2015 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Much truth in that it is all about PR & spin never about what actually works.

    • Monty
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      “If a bone fide landlord suspects one of his tenants is an illegal…”

      Once a letting agreement has been signed, a landlord has no legal right to demand entry to the property to ensure no-one else is living there. His tenant may indeed be a legal resident, but that tenant could then start sub-letting rooms, even the garage and garden shed, to illegal immigrants.
      There are parts of London where there are “shed with bed” arrangements in almost every back garden, including council houses.
      The government seem to be approaching this whole problem the wrong way. By taking occasional nibbles at small aspects of it. That’s no use, a comprehensive, objective strategy is needed.

      • alan jutson
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink


        Agreed they are trying to treat the effect, instead of the cause.

        So much easier to blames someone else, than take responsibility themselves.

  6. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    If they are granted asylum or residence for other reasons they should be properly supported. 

    I have an inkling that politicos’ and the establishment’s definition of properly supported and my own vary wildly. Dormitories and food vouchers would be my preferred option followed by no in work benefits until they have earned that right after a substantial period of contribution. Charges for school places and medical care should apply too. If these people are genuinely escaping persecution they should not expect to be placed into relative luxury.

    Better to group together and fight such persecution in their own countries otherwise how will change occur.

  7. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Highlighting schengen and other EU immigration policy is closing the door after the horse has bolted.

    For much the same cost as the disruption and subsequent benefits pay out once these (people ed) have arrived in Europe we could patrol the African coast to ensure the dinghies are turned back.

    Failing that for the similar costs we can re purpose an island as a processing and repatriation centre. (Preferably not the UK which seems to be the French and Swedes island of choice).

    • alexmews
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      re: island. Perhaps Ceuta is the answer!

  8. alan jutson
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Three real problems you highlight.

    Illegal immigrants claiming asylum who come here, having destroyed or lost all papers and then refusing to say where they have come from, making it it difficult to return them.

    The solution, a blood test to get the DNA of their history, which would identify the area of the World from which they originally came to be the default region and to where they should be returned, should they fail to provide evidence to the contrary.
    Why should anyone who is seeking asylum refuse to say where they lived, and where they have been abused, it simply is a ploy to make return difficult, to take time, to allow them to stay longer here.
    Absolutely no point in returning them just to France so they can try again in just a few hours, they need to go back to the Country from where they started their journey.
    Cost paid for out of Foreign Aid.

    Simply make our Benefits system a contribution based system, which will satisfy the EU, as other Countries operate such a system.
    This will mean we treat Immigrants exactly the same as our own people, no contributions no welfare.
    Minimum contributions required for help 5 years.
    May also stop some of our own abusing the system at the same time.
    Clearly some safeguards for people who are genuinely medically or mentally unwell.

    All Refugee/illegal claimants should be held in secure establishments for a set time limit before they are returned, no one should be released until their claim has been fully verified.
    Cost paid for out of Foreign Aid.

    Common sense says we should not be rescuing people from the sea and bringing them to the EU where they then roam at will.
    Return them immediately back to Northern Africa.
    Modern radar can track all boat movements, so it is not difficult task to know where they left.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Simpler than a DNA test would be a designated drop zone like they have in golf.

      All immigrants to the UK coming via any means other than official channels can then know that the drop zone (the coast of Libya, or Tunisia or some such place) will be their ultimate destination if they come here illegally. If immigration is so wonderful Libya and Tunisia will be grateful when we drop these illegals off.

      The bleeding hearts can not complain as the immigrant came here knowing the outcome and the immigrant can not complain for the same reason.

      If we are to have borders (and we should) we need to protect them to dissuade others.

      • alan jutson
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        Narrow Shoulders

        Certainly agree we need a default mechanism for those who refuse to co-operate.
        Exactly how that should be selected is for us to agree, but agree we absolutely must, otherwise it is the illegals in charge of the system and not us.

        At the moment it would seem that it is the “lunatics in charge of the asylum” with our Government in this case being the lunatics.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I see that a city trader has been successfully prosecuted on eight charges of “conspiracy to defraud”, the charge I suggested when ministers were holding up their hands and claiming that it would be necessary to pass a new law because there was no existing criminal offence which covered the conduct of people rigging LIBOR.

    Let’s hope that his co-conspirators are also convicted and given stiff sentences.

    14 years may seem a bit much to some, but it will create a strong deterrent for others who may be tempted to indulge in similar crimes in the future.

    • Dennis
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      I thought proceeds from crime should be confiscated – I have heard nothing of this re the city trader who made millions from the fraud, not even a mention by any BBC reports. No one there seems to have thought about it.

      Reply In many cases it is the bank that makes the profits, and the banks have been fined heavily for their misdeeds

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply Surely the trader made bonuses and kept his job due to performance so should lose “ill gotten gains” I am sure he broke the law for a reason.

      • APL
        Posted August 5, 2015 at 6:11 am | Permalink

        JR: “In many cases it is the bank that makes the profits, and the banks have been fined heavily for their misdeeds”

        Spoken by a supposedly economic literate Tory.

        You know perfectly well, Mr Redwood, the banks didn’t pay a penny in penalties. Their customers on the other hand, paid through the nose – those of their customers who are also tax payers, paid through the nose twice.

    • CdBrux
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Not only that it will be a much needed proof that the justice system goes after banking crimes as well as benefits fraud etc…
      “We are all in it together…”

      • outsider
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        Dear CD Brux, You make an interesting point of law-breakers being “all in this together”, this being gaol.
        It seems only three or four years ago that we were being told by all interested authorities that people should not be sent to gaol unless they had committed violent crimes and represented a danger to society. Somehow, we did not hear these previously ever-present voices after phone-hacking, historic sex crimes of the over-80s, amoral bankers and so on.
        Perhaps they just meant that thieves, muggers and burglars should not be incarcerated. This will cease to be an issue if , as the police chiefs’ trade union has threatened, such crimes are no longer investigated.

  10. DaveM
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    What you talk about is quite accurate I’m sure. However, the fact remains that actually it IS a good idea for them to come here because they get away with everything and ignore all the laws of which you speak. Until the govt toughens up and until we get away from being ruled by human rights lawyers they will continue to swarm into our country and soak up hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of our taxes.

    In the meantime, does the govt plan to compensate all the businesses which are losing thousands every day through govt inaction?

    I’ve said before that one of the tasks of the armed forces is to protect British trade and interests worldwide. The police on both sides of the channel, and the border force seem totally incapable of dealing with this, so more stringent measures need to be taken. But the PM and Home Secretary are so weak and impotent that they do nothing. Talk is just that – talk. We need action and we need it now.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    It needs to be stated very clearly that a vote to stay in the EU means a continuation of uncontrolled immigration forever.

    If we want immigration controlled then we must leave. It is the one and only issue on which millions will bother to get up and vote Out.

    Failure to use this argument means that we may as well give up the No campaign now.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      If we want immigration controlled, don’t bother relying on the British state ( they can’t organise anything in a brewery) we need to put a monetary incentive on the immigrant to leave at the appropriate time. If all immigrants had to supply a financial insurance bond on entry, which was redeemable on exit, and if they didn’t exit at the agreed time, then it was cashed and the money used to find them and eject them, then I think a big chunk of our immigrant problems would be eliminated.

      In addition having an insurance bond would be self regulating system, as people coming from countries where there was a propensity to abscond , would find the cost to buy an insurance bond too high.

    • John C.
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      It does seem odd that only a few months ago we were being told that doorstep interviews indicated that immigration was not a major issue for most people. It came, we were told about 10th in order of importance.
      Was this true, or another indication of the deliberate denigration of UKIP, which has always insisted that it WAS an important issue?
      Even the wretched BBC seem now to be admitting that they must confront the situation, though it must be galling for them.

      Reply Immigration was an important issue in most polls and I remember writing and talking about here as a result. It was usually in the top 3 issues.

  12. Lifelogic
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Indeed the EU have created a complete unworkable mess as usual.

    Just they they have done in energy production, the green crap industries, fishing, agriculture, refuse & recycling, water, employment regulations and almost all the other areas where they chose to intervene.

    This is the problem with top down government, the bureaucrats are totally out of touch with the real issues. Nor in reality do they really care if their “solution” works or not, they have their jobs, special tax rules and pensions and doubtless will have a nice job sorting (or not sorting) the mess out later.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      I see that the government are claiming they will use the receipts from the sale of RBS shares “to pay down the national debt”. They mean “increase it very slightly less than they would have done without this money”.

      The Government certainly seem to think the public are very stupid indeed. But then perhaps they are right given how many voted for Brown, Blair, the Libdums, the fake Tories, the Greens, the SNP and the Welsh lot (that I cannot remember how to spell).

      Still at least they are selling it. The BBC seem to be blaming the Tories for the loss on the sale of the shares. This loss was of course was incurred when Brown bought them (for far more than their true value) and in such an inept way too. The blame clearly rests with “save the world” Gordon Brown.

      • CdBrux
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        The BBC interview (or indeed the minister interviewed) never touched on the idea that the shares may have been bought for a far too high price!

        However it does seem from the reports that the sale is at the lowest share price for some time (a minor gripe if testing the water maybe, but doesn’t look good) and more problematic to me is that they were offered institutionally at a small reduction vs the price the shares were trading at which does seem like looking after your mates! Maybe I miss something but again it doesn’t look good.

        If Corbyn wins, and maybe if he doesn’t, this stuff is easily trotted out as evidence capitalism doesn’t work – and the more we have cronyism instead of capitalism the easier it is to tar responsible capitalism.

        • outsider
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

          Dear CD Brux, Agree with your main point. Whitehall still seems to believe that the City gives the Treasury disinterested advice in these matters. The French do such things better.

          But may I take you up on “crony capitalism” versus “responsible capitalism”. What do these terms mean beyond dislike versus like?

          The term crony capitalism can cover virtually any large corporation, or it can mean all regulated businesses or it can be a non-libellous way of implying collusion, which is now illegal. Most of all, it just seems to be a random term of abuse coined by the Left.

          If you look at countries such as Germany where Government and industry co-operate closely and informally to their mutual advantage, crony capitalism seems to be a recipe for economic success.

          And what is responsible capitalism? Paying people well above the minimum wage, like most big regulated companies? I could go on …

  13. Iain Moore
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    The British state being incapable of managing our external borders , have moved the border control in country and made it the responsibility of the landlords and employers. What could possibly go wrong.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    “I trust decent landlords will not end up in prison because they have made a mistake about an individual’s residence status, or have been misled by false or misleading documents.”

    Wasn’t it found that an illegal immigrant was being employed as a cleaner in either Parliament or a government department? Didn’t a leading politician get into some trouble for employing an illegal immigrant as a cleaner or a nanny or whatever?

    It has to be clear exactly what is expected from landlords, given that there are so many forged documents knocking around. Are they supposed to have passports checked by experts to detect fraud, or what? Is it possible that the government could help in some way, as the problems are the result of its immigration policies?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 5, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      I have no confidence that decent landlords will not he hounded. The authorities always prefer chasing the decent and ignoring the real criminals. So much easier, more pleasant & usually rather more profitable for them.

  15. Gary C
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Morning John,

    Re: The issue is why doesn’t the Home Office move quickly to ask people to leave and help them leave the country as soon as their case is settled?

    Surely this is complete madness . . . . . ASK!

    If they loose their case to stay they should be taken to an airport and TOLD they are going back, no more questions no more argument.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I like the Italians, but nobody with any sense would depend on their government to stop illegal immigration into this country. It’s been known for many years that they can not and do not control clandestine entry into Italy, and that the illegal immigrants are then actively helped on their way to other European countries and especially the UK.

  17. ChrisS
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    “I trust decent landlords will not end up in prison because they have made a mistake about an individual’s residence status, or have been misled by false or misleading documents.”

    Unlike you, John, as one of those decent landlords I have no faith whatsoever that I could not end up in prison because of false or misleading documents. There are just too many different types of document that might or might not be forgeries.

    The penalty is so great that unless I am given clear access to a government database to check the documents either directly or via a Government agency and can print off and retain the evidence, I will have no choice other than to restrict future tenancies to UK or EU passport holders.

    This may or may not be legal but it is the only safe solution for a Landlord faced with up to five years in prison.

    I would urge you to go to the Government and try to persuade them to delay introduction of this measure until they have put in place a checking procedure along the lines I have suggested.

    I will be asking my own MP, Chris Chope to do the same.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Alas Chris, as posted on the previous Calais Chaos blogpost, this is all I could find for you……

      Dear ChrisS,
      I introduce you to the ‘Right to rent’ tool …

      Good Luck!


      • zorro
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        I suppose the temptation of all that lovely revenue to sequestrate from landlords is too great….. Oh by the way, don’t forget that foreign nationals can forge UK documents as well ?


        • Know-Dice
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Fair enough but, this is an “Alpha” service and only covers:

          “If your property is in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall or Wolverhampton, you can use the right to rent tool to find out:”

          The implication is that the proposed legislation will also cover a change in a persons circumstances, so you check them when they initially rent, are you meant to recheck on a yearly/monthly/weekly basis?

          This is the Government abrogating their responsibilities, and is not acceptable.

          • zorro
            Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

            I was being ever so slightly ironic, sorry that this didn’t come across ?


          • zorro
            Posted August 4, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            I think that they call it ‘delivering through partnership’…..


          • Know-Dice
            Posted August 5, 2015 at 6:46 am | Permalink

            No problem…irony can be difficult to get across…

      • stred
        Posted August 5, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Yes. They have a lot of tools at the Home Office. Apart from imprisoning landlords they have invented the perfect tool for reducing known illegal immigration and the need to do something about it- i.e. Large fines for lorry drivers daft enough to report shuffling in the back of their truck. Much better to find a quiet laybye and let them out, while locking yourself in the cab for safety. Perhaps the Kafka think tank in the Ministry could introduce new fines for the burgled as there are still people out there who are willing to waste their own and policemen’s time reporting them, while knowing that catching the burglar is hopeless.

        • zorro
          Posted August 6, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          Only if you are an odd number or is it an even number for investigation by the police now? Or why not change it every other month so that everyone has an equal chance of not having their burglary investigated?

          See that’s a good way of saving money by delivering in partnership and also takes into account an equality impact assessment so that everyone can equally unhappy.

          John, please be sure to recommend this money saving idea to the Treasury. You know it makes sense.


    • CdBrux
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      At the very least it requires a whole load of people, such as small letting agencies, to become competant at a whole load of skills. So any red tape removed in the current efforts will be recycled into this!

  18. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Every single person in this country wants to do the decent thing and allow people who are in trouble to come to live here safely and with a very warm and friendly welcome. We do that sometimes quite effectively too. I know: I am in touch with the recipients.
    There is, of course, a cost.
    It is becoming seriously obvious to even the most casual observer that the EU is to blame for this mess. For years the British government of all stripes has been pretending it is in charge. Now it is absolutely obvious, even to Matthew d’Ancona in the Guardian, that the government is no such thing. The EU has caused this mess and the EU is not able to deal with it.
    You do not have to be swivel eyed to see that.
    etc ed

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      As much as I would like to heap blame on the EU, and certainly the EU is at fault for Schengen , you cannot ignore the contributions of the British political classes. The 1951 UN refugee convention is unworkable, the Human Rights Act makes its own malign contribution to this mess, as does the institutional incompetence of the British state, that fails to mange our borders, and lets a flourishing black economy to exist where these people can disappear .

    • Alan
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      The EU is not at fault for “this mess”. This is a UK border which would not exist if we had followed EU policy and joined the Schengen agreement. If there were no border there would be no problem of people trying to cross it illegally.

      The Eurosceptics cannot accept responsibility for the problems they have caused and seek to blame others.

      Reply If we had no border in Calais then illegal migrant flows would be much increased.

    • CdBrux
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Unfortuantely UK & France also dropped a whole load of bombs etc… on Libya and it is now a failed state through which a lot of these migrants pass, although even Gadaffi may not have stopped it becoming so but that we will never know.

  19. Alan
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Having a border at Calais is a direct result of the UK not joining the Schengen agreement. We are spending very large amounts of money and doing enormous damage to the local and national economy keeping out people who, if they were allowed into this country, would work hard for low wages and thereby increase our GDP.

    Abolishing border controls at Dover and Calais would greatly facilitate movement for our people and goods, and we would become richer, not to mention saving the large amounts spent on maintaining a border control which does little to increase our security and much to damage our commerce.

    • ian wragg
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      What a stupid comment. We do not need millions of unskilled cheap workers etc ed. According to your philosophy we should be be the richest country in the world as we are already importing 500,000 bodies each year.
      Who is going to house, feed and school the off springs of this eternal fountain of labour. You sir are sadly deluded.

      • Alan
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        The money they make will house, feed and school themselves and their children, and some of ours as well.

        There is nothing like 500,000 people at Calais.

        • agricola
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          There may not be 500,000 at Calais but in 2014 something in excess of 600,000 people arrived in the UK legitimately, mostly from Europe .On top of that are the ones who arrived illegally of unknown number. This insanity cannot be allowed to go on. It’s only virtue is that it will increasingly become the compelling lead reason for our exit from the EU. It will be the daily reason from now until the day we vote to leave because for all the talk Cameron and the current government can do nothing to stop it, nor do they want to.

          • Alan
            Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            I don’t agree that it is insane to allow people to come to this country to work. I think they would enrich our economy.

            I tend to agree with you that some people who oppose our membership of the EU want to exaggerate the problems at Calais and use them to increase xenophobia in the hope this will increase the ‘No’ vote. I wonder if that is one of the reasons that the Eurosceptic press write such emotional accounts. I hope they fail.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          Not if they are on low wages. The British taxpayer will have to top it up and therefore lead to more expense. We do not need to have to pay for more housing expenses, more children to educate and feed and more for the NHS to cope with.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          I remember when my daughter was about four and one day we were talking about China and people living there being poor, and as a kind-hearted girl she suggested that we could invite them to come and live here instead. When I explained the numbers involved she changed her mind about that as a practical proposition.

          Let’s try the same thing again with respect to Africa, where the total population is presently about 1.2 billion and many of them are poor and many would very much like to move here, and just the annual increase in that population is about half the present population of the UK, and it is set to hit 4 billion by the end of the century.

          So how many would you like to come here and share our country?

        • alan jutson
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 3:24 pm | Permalink


          Do you really think if we opened the doors the extra people who would arrive, would all be capable of work, would all want to work, and would actually pay more into the system than they took out in costs.

          The more that arrive here, (even if they want to work and can find work) the more wages will be compressed in certain industries.

          We have a major Housing shortage now with the present population, goodness knows we do not need any more to make the problem worse.

    • Hefner
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Alan, You really are out of the “Overton window” of the usual contributors to this blog. Thanks for your courageous comment (giving the environment).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Out to lunch, is perhaps what you mean.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Hahahaha…… Delicious irony


    • John C.
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Alan, I suppose you are entitled to your views, but the absurdity of your comments makes me wonder.
      Unless you have a fairly considerable income, you will be a net recipient of welfare.
      If you have no employment, you will be a recipient.
      If you have a family, you will need to earn a good income, or you will be a recipient.
      The people at Calais will, almost to a man, be a drain on our resources. You are no doubt aware that the country is in massive debt, which is growing by the second.

      • Alan
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think my comments are absurd. they seem to me to be much more sensible than most on this blog, which are largely proposing absurd ‘solutions’ that would not work or would cost even more.

        I don’t see what my income has to do with this, but I am retired and receive a state pension that is slightly more than I pay in income tax, although less than I pay in all taxes.

        The people at Calais mainly want to come here to work, according to reports. They would be an asset if they were allowed in, not a drain on our resources, and our commerce could flow more freely. I believe we would be richer if we removed the border.

        • zorro
          Posted August 6, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          You must be Bazman in disguise. I claim my £5…..


      • Alan
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Just returning to your reply once again, I have realised on looking through the postings that my ‘suggestion’ (actually EU policy) is the only one that not only would cost very little to implement but would save large amounts of money, quite apart from immediately getting our commerce moving within a week.

        • alan jutson
          Posted August 5, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink


          Please just think your idea right through to its logical conclusion.

          Exactly how many people do you think would come here if we had no border control at all, as you suggest..?

          How many do you think have a large enough deposit and a work record to get a mortgage to purchase a house, and where do you suggest they live whilst they wait.

  20. Liz
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Those “desperate” to come here ,though in possession of large sums of money to pay people traffickers, might not be quite so desperate if once here they were not given the red carpert treatment. Putting them in hotels where British taxpaers have paid money out of their earnings for a holiday is crass to say the least plus given pocket money on top of that. A single man was shown in TV news last night in Government provided accommodation upon illegally arriving here whereas British tax paying single men find it very difficult to get social housing at all. No wonder they are breaking down the borders to get here. The French say it is our fault – well they are not entirely wrong are they? We provide the lure and the EU the means through open borders.

    • bigneil
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Perfectly put – -it’s just a shame that as our wonderful PM has gone on holiday ( if in England ) – the authorities haven’t put a load of the illegals in the same hotel he has gone to. I’m sure they would go and personally thank him for the entirely free ( on the taxpayer forever ) lives he has handed to them, telling him they will vote for his party, once the rest of the extended family have arrived and settled in their new houses ( currently being built ).

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    JR: “The BBC Today and World at One programmes did some good interviews of Ministers on this topic.”
    Indeed and they showed that, as so often, there is little substance behind the sound bites. Government attempting to give the impression of dealing with the problem whilst not acting directly where it can. No doubt hoping to divert attention from stories of Calais, the M20, ‘ migrants’ being taken by taxi to London and coaches taking them to hotels in Lancashire at taxpayers’ expense. This is what we have come to expect from Cameron’s Conservatives.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      I should have included reports that the EU paying is migrants to come to work in UK.

      • Hefner
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Isn’t it a bit easy to write “reports that the EU paying is (sic) migrants to come to work”. Quoting the reference should not be too difficult and might allow other readers of your post to make their own mind. Thank you in advance.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Trust in Delivery Dave, he will get net migration back to the 10s of 100s per year….. You know it makes sense. Vote Tory – get Dave and Gideon the saviours of the UK ‘paying down the debt’ – how can you not put your trust in these scions of responsibility.


      • zorro
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        If this keeps on a ‘No’ to EU vote is a running cert ?


        • agricola
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely correct. If Cameron stopped it, it would harm his cosy relationship with the EU. If it continues as I am sure it will, it reinforces the No vote. Just remember the figure for immigrants in 2014 was in excess of 600,000. You cannot offset this actual figure against the people who decided that enough was enough and left, because those coming in alter the whole ethos of the country.etc ed

  22. Tad Davison
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    ‘The choice surely is a simple one. If someone is illegal that means they should leave the country. If they are granted asylum or residence for other reasons they should be properly supported. We wish to avoid a third category of people who are not legally entitled to be here, yet who qualify for inadequate support, finding it difficult to do much by legal means owing to the tougher rules.’

    A wish, maybe, but an unfulfilled one. The BBC’s Newsnight programme had a piece on this last night, and it seems the system isn’t working very well for there are lots of failed asylum-seekers who have yet to be returned for which the tax-payer is still forking out. And the good-old BBC will often show one side without showing the other, i.e. those of us who are fed up with immigration and want is resolved.

    Last weekend, I came face-to-face with a significant part of the problem, and why immigrants are not always welcome in the UK.

    (personal anecdote mentioning a third party removed ed)

    I am not a fan of multiculturalism, and there’s the reason why. When in Rome, do as Romans do. People who come to this country either as asylum-seekers, as residents, or visitors, should abide by our laws, our values, and our traditions, and not bring theirs with them.

    Nor should they come here and seek to change us from within. The British are an accommodating people, and can take others to their heart, but not ones who alienate themselves or remain aloof, and that is a MASSIVE point the government needs to take on board.

    I can’t see why the immigration people can’t get their act together. Fast action would certainly send out a message to others that we’re not a soft-touch, but our present immigration policy is a sick joke.

    Tad Davison


    • bigneil
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      A police program a few days ago showed them pull a car on a motorway. After many checks, they found the driver was an Afghan who had been refused asylum – and already deported TWICE. He was back for a third time, driving on our roads, no license, no insurance. He clearly didn’t give a damn for our laws or the lives of anyone he crashed into.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted August 7, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      So what PC protocol are we being governed by this time that stops us telling it like it is?

      There is the problem writ large! True and witnessed anecdotal evidence is removed for fear of upsetting people. I bet they weren’t as angry as I was at someone placing their shopping bag on the boot of my brand new car!


  23. Shieldsman
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The Telegraph Editorial made a very valid point: David Cameron will be aware of how this crisis will focus the Euroscepticism among voters who have their eyes on the EU referendum. Only a firm response will change that.
    As we report today, out of hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to the UK, deportations over the past eight years have averaged only 4,500 a year. The number of foreigners detained on suspicion of illegal immigration this year has soared – but why are so few being sent home?

    In the past when the Home Office cannot cope they grant an amnesty.

    Those making it across the Channel are no doubt on their mobile phones saying it’s great over here keep on trying. Once your in you can apply for asylum, but they were told that at Calais. The vast majority of Africans at Calais are generally accepted as being economic migrants and therefore make illegal entry to the UK. The fact that so few are deported encourages more to make the journey.

    There is talk that the EU will discus the problem in few months time, meanwhile the Channel Tunnel entrance is under siege from migrants, if only by a few hundred breaking through the fences and causing turmoil. Will more fencing and sniffer dogs solve the ongoing problem? It has got out of hand, the Government and the EU have no long term answer to the problem. What hope is there of the 28 member states agreeing to immigrant quotas.

    The illegals obviously think they have a right to force an entry into the UK, regardless of the views of UK citizens and the law. Only firm action will stem the flow.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      They are getting more brazen day by day – they need a whiff of grapeshot.


  24. Peter Van Leeuwen
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    More than 20% of Germany’s population has a migrant background. Migrants are almost twice as likely to have a university education as the average German. So migrants are not some “evil” to be treated in black and white manner.

    IMHO the previous UK government has failed to toughen up its national legislation concerning migration, and found it easier to blame the EU for each and every migration problem which Germans and e.g. Dutch approached nationally. Only now the Home office is trying harder to make the UK less attractive and target some national culprits Have exploiting employers yet been tagetted??? The previous hyping of the migration issues have helped populist influence in the UK and has helped to make Calais a more popular migrant hub.

    • Douglas Carter
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Peter, it’s reasonable to suggest that there is no ‘Calais’ crisis in Germany (obviously!) but neither is there one in Rotterdam. Because – as you imply, some Governments act to interpret the Schengen obligations more strictly than others.

      (Notionally, it’s also worth mentioning that in the past there has been illegal French Trades Union action to disrupt Container Shipping in Rotterdam, Antwerp and similarly in Santander – there is a persistent associate phenomenon there detached from but not isolated from the migrant problem).

      You talk about Graduates in Germany – but in Calais there are innumerable people who not only have ‘accidentally’ lost every scrap of paperwork they might once have possessed (difficult to claim you’re a Graduate under such circumstances, presumably?) but many of them don’t even seem to be able to remember from which country they originated?

      The problem for the UK is not in Holland, it’s in France – and successive French Governments have not been protecting their outer borders in the same competent manner. For whatever reason, the UK (nor the Irish Republic, for that matter, again for obvious reasons) chose to remain out of the strictures of Schengen. The UK taxpayer should not be expected to be the default custodian of convenience of problems that negligence in our near neighbours have caused. If French Governments observe that UK Governments can be coerced into adopting French internal obligations and difficulties, I’d suggest there will never be a shortage of such problems to export?

      • Peter Van Leeuwen
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        @Douglas Carter: I see as the best approach for the Calais situation a much stronger collaboration with the French authorities (whether you like them or not).
        Also note that British lack of solidarity (refusing to take any of the 40000 sea crossers from Italy) means you shouldn’t expect any sympathy from us either.
        Friendships are always two-way channels.

        • Douglas Carter
          Posted August 5, 2015 at 4:06 am | Permalink

          Nicely evaded Peter, but evaded nonetheless.

          I’ll be blunt instead. The Calais ‘crisis’ was caused by France and Italy not applying to the Schengen agreements to which they voluntarily and intentionally signed. The same Schengen agreement that the UK didn’t sign, and has never indicated it would.

          That’s the UK which has been accepting legitimate and actual refugees for a century and a half, while most of the Continent of Europe played host to extremely authoritarian regimes. I’m not asking for sympathy for my country, nor did I imply I would do so. I expect European nations to accede to agreements they themselves signed, and thereby acceptance of the obvious consequences those agreements would lead to.

          Neither France nor Italy wish to observe that obvious notion. Therefore, neither would they expect sympathy from myself.

      • APL
        Posted August 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Douglas Carter: “difficult to claim you’re a Graduate under such circumstances, presumably?”

        The BBC interviewed a lady who was accidentally sprayed with pepper spray by the French authorities because she happened to be observing other migrants trying to destroy the fence around the entrance to the Channel tunnel.

        According to the BBC she was a human rights lawyer in her country of origin, and according to her she was coming to Britain to ‘claim her human rights’.

        It seems that the irony of a breaking the law to obtain the protection of the law seems to have been lost on the self proclaimed human right lawyer.

        BBC journalists must be the most gullible species in the Universe – all you need to do is march up to one and claim you are a nuclear physicist and Presto! You are credited as such on the BBC news.

    • forthurst
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      “Migrants are almost twice as likely to have a university education as the average German. So migrants are not some “evil” to be treated in black and white manner.”

      Nothing like parcelling up British etc engineers etc who can’t get appropriate employment here with the totally unqualified from outside Europe to create another deceitful pro-multiculti headline.

    • Graham
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      Who cares about your EU sponsored contribution!!!

  25. Martyn G
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Our sovereignty was once sacrosanct and yet government after government have surrendered it without our consent to the EU monster. In the case of our borders, governments have failed year on year to get a proper grip of the situation.
    As a free-born Englishman who served his country in the RAF for 38 years and planning a trip to France next month, I was angered to find that although we cannot effectively control who enters the UK, I cannot leave the UK without being stopped and questioned unless I first submit a range of personal data known as ‘advance passenger information’. Although one would think that one only needed to do that once I also find that my data will be held for only 7 days and then deleted. What idiot thought this one up? I despair….

    • Peter Van Leeuwen
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      @Martyr G:
      Interesting . . . I don’t experience any of your inconveniences when entering France!
      You will have to live with the consequences of your country’s decision not to join Schengen. After leaving the EU (if that were to happen) border crossing won’t get any easier for you.

      • Graham
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        A longer wait to entry the lovely area of Europe would be a fair trade for the majority of Brits.

        By the way what strictures does the Schengen apply?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Do you fly to France Peter? It is an anti terrorist mechanism not a passport exercise as I am sure you are aware.

        Your pro EU posts have become more disingenuous and deceitful of late. Smoke and mirrors, the weapon of choice of the politician or magician. One is entertaining the other dangerous.

        • Peter Van Leeuwen
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

          @Narrow Shoulders: I’m now in Basildon and even for local flights I show my passport as identity. Paris I’d do by fast train, carrying but hardly ever showing a passport. Traveling by car I don’t stop or show identity anywhere. I may always be asked a proof of identity though, anywhere, also in the Netherlands. I cannot see anything deceitful about my contributions.
          I was even biting my tongue and didn’t write any reaction on the blog about the Lords reform, although I favour the Danish system (abolished H.o.L ) and still a very good functioning democracy.

          • Peter Van Leeuwen
            Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

            Sorry, Basildon should be Brazil!

        • Peter Van Leeuwen
          Posted August 5, 2015 at 1:15 am | Permalink

          @Narrow Shoulders: I cannot find APIS requirements within Schengen. Spain applies APIS but exempts Schengen passengers.

  26. English Pensioner
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    We don’t appear to be policing the border at Dover. Every truck entering the country should be thoroughly searched and illegals placed in a camp before deportation. It would require money and manpower, but less than that required if they are allowed to stay. I’m sure that an outsider, looking at what is happening, would conclude that our government doesn’t really want to stop them getting in.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      More for less with 25-40% cuts in the Home Office budget should do the trick…..


      • English Pensioner
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        Foreign Aid budget.
        They’re all foreign and they get lots of aid.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Precisely.they are too busy doing what the UN tells them to do but can’t admit it to the people.I’m still waiting for someone at senior level to tell the likes of Peter Sutherland where to go.

  27. Sean
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    We definitely need to protect our borders, a six year old will tell you that. If you have no borders you have no country, it’s that simple. Look.. at the end of the day, you minsters sit on your hands talk the talk, and do very little to cure the problem. You talk about fault saying it’s the Foregin office that is to blame, which is true. This has become a much wider problem and it’s now David Con-manerons problem.

    You talk about EU laws which only work when the EU wants them to work. Those Illegal should claim asylum in the first state. We all know that states want to pass the buck to other states, giving free passage to the UK. Alcatraz of Europe, I have nickname us. Britain has welcome legal migrants for houdreds of years, which is good, we largely expect anyone. All illegals should be found and deported and if wanting to return they must come legally. The trouble with UK Ministers is they are weak, we need someone like the great Donald trump. Now there is a man with a backbone that the UK has never had.

  28. acorn
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    “Meanwhile this tragedy is argument enough for the UK to regain control over her own borders, …” JR says.

    Exactly what difference will that make? Are you going to build a Zionist type wall around England and Wales? Close the Channel tunnel? Beach all the Ferries and use them as prison ships? Inject “laughing gas” into every container that comes off a ship? Have every plane put its landing gear down at 30,000 feet over the sea and see if anything drops out?

    Just asking!

    Reply No. The current system for people flying from non EU countries is they need to have the right documents in order to board the flight. Do the same for the ferries from the EU.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink


      The vast majority of illegal immigrants in the UK enter via Heathrow airport, onboard flights

      • zorro
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Well, do you have the figures for that? Figures mentioned in the news state that there have been 20-30,000 registered attempts (not discrete individuals) to penetrate the sea borders. I have not seen hope many arrive without documents at the airports, but I suspect that it is substantially less than that figure….. I replied to your comment on the Calais blog by the way. The correct figure was 52,000……


        • Hefner
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          zorro, thanks for your comment about the need for references. Far too often here we can comments not much more interesting than blue noise (with signal intensity increasing with frequency).

        • libertarian
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink


          The vast majority of illegal immigrants are people arriving with visa’s and paperwork and then not leaving when they should . I came across this article that explains it, its the news which is the same authority you quote so I guess its as accurate as your source.

          One of the problems with this debate is that people don’t think through things. Talking about illegals on this forum most people assume we are talking about Africans entering via Calais/Dover

          ( I actually live less than 5 miles from the ports by the way and I’m not sure where these hordes of Africans are actually working and living, its certainly not around here. All the immigrants here are East European and entirely legal for the most part.)

          A large number of illegals are young Aussies NZ and South Africans and commonwealth citizens who’s visa’s have expired.


          You are one of the worst culprits for not citing sources and just giving your opinion

          • zorro
            Posted August 5, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

            Trust me, you don’t need to tell me that. People aren’t illegal until they overstay. We were talking in context about those arriving without documents. Electronic ‘Exit checks’ recently brought in should give some better idea about compliance with entry/visa requirements in the long run. Might not be a pretty picture……


  29. Vanessa
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    JR – you appear to have forgotten that we were one of the first signatories of the UN Convention 1951. Below is an extract from EUReferendum dot com where he is exasperated that Farage does not know this either.

    When one assesses everything that Farage has said, this is amongst the most disturbing, at several levels. Firstly, he appears not to know that the movement of asylum seekers across borders owes nothing to EU “free movement” rules, stemming as it does from the 1951 UN Convention and the 1967 Protocol.

    Secondly, he very clearly does not understand the dynamics of the system. Seeking “a checking system at Dover for every car and lorry coming into the UK”, he would allow asylum seekers onto UK territory so that, when they are discovered, all they have to do is demand asylum and we have to admit them.

    Thus is why, of course, that the UK Government concluded the 2003 Le Touquet Agreement with the French, so that immigration checks are carried out on French soil, where the UK bears no responsibility for asylum seekers.

    What the “no” campaign (including Ukip) could and should be doing is campaigning either for the repeal or the removal of the 1951 Convention (and Protocol) and its replacement with something better.

    This is a line the EU can’t follow, as the provisions of the 1951 Convention are embedded in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which would need major treaty change to happen – which never will. Therefore, the need to address the 1951 Convention is in itself good grounds for leaving the EU, as the only way the UK could broker a new agreement.

    A sensible assessment I think.

    Reply I am well aware of asylum rules, and argued to keep our border in Calais for these purposes. Of course we need to consider fairly any claim for asylum made by someone arriving in the UK. The main issue we have is asking illegals to leave, a different and more pressing problem.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      JR, we have no problem asking them to leave, it’s just that they don’t have the mojo to get up and leave which I agree is rather contrary of them bearing in mind their illegal status…… I suppose their reply is….. ‘Yes, what are you going to do about it?’


    • David Price
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for posting this, I read the EUReferendum articles on this also which were illuminating to say the least, This is clearly a complicated issue involving international treaties and not simply an issue with France or even the EU.

      Your point that we cannot begin to address the 1951 UNHCR without leaving the EU is interesting, though how much is really down to article 31 and not enforcing asylum being claimed in the first safe country?

      I think we need an equally robust treatment of issues around immigration regardless of whether we are in the EU or not, we need to be less relaxed in how welfare and benefits are operated. I don’t think we can move to a more manageable situiation without moving to a contributions based welfare and benefits scheme.

      @reply, the main issue we have is how easy it is to access relatively generous levels of welfare benefits without having contributed anything. It sustains the workshy and attracts people from less successful economies, it is exacerbated by the astounding willingness of some in the public sector to promote the interests of such claimants over the interests of those who do contribute to our economy.

    • Graham
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      No we don’t have to accept them. A bit of backbone (Churchill we need you) would say that applications will only be considered through normal channels say at embassies in affected countries. If this is problematic for the applicant then tough!!

      • David Price
        Posted August 6, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        That may work for regular applications for immigration and claims for asylum that fail but as long as we are signatories to the UNHCR treaty on refugee status we are obliged to process an application for asylum made in our territory and provide basic accomodate and food while we do so.

  30. Douglas Carter
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    If you go back to your Joseph Conrad – ‘The Secret Agent’ – it was written in a time where continental despotisms were attempting to undermine the UK policy over providing Asylum to those at threat of political persecution, unjustifiable imprisonment or murder. The UK policy designed for that time has barely undergone modernisation since but the attempts upon it remain constant. These days, some of our Continental friends (‘friends’ in the context implied by Lord Tebbit, on his eulogy for Margaret Thatcher) insist that the UK must adopt a system of ID cards or similar to provide checks against illegal occupiers.

    Those Continental friends signed up to Schengen voluntarily. They didn’t do so via coercion, they didn’t do so inadvertently (…’then we woke up one morning and discovered we’d accidentally legislated for a loose-border policy – how did that happen…?…’…) and it passed through multiple Parliaments introduced by their respective Governments. Thereby, those nations must adopt the responsibilities of the consequences.

    The consequences we see at Calais are not a bolt from the blue – in exactly the same manner and in the same contemporary period as warnings were issued over the terms of the Euro, figures were warning of exactly this unwanted migrant situation. As per the Euro, they were ignored in precisely the same way. Tedious warnings of obvious troublesome outcomes were never equal to proto-religious EU dogma, after all.

    Nonetheless, the Schengen countries signed up for this. They wanted their borders weakened, and weak borders they have. But concurrently they don’t want to adopt responsibility for decisions they themselves took in weakening those same borders.
    I would expect of my Government that this would be pointed out – no matter how undiplomatic it may sound. As per the Euro, and again as unfashionable as the practice is, those who said at the time ‘Told you so’ should entitle themselves to remind certain electorates that they had done so before the damage was eventually done.

  31. Kenneth
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I believe we need to employ our army and navy to bolster border control while urgently bringing in a system whereby entrants with no UK passport pay a refundable bond.

    The bond will be refunded when and if they leave the country. The bond for tourists can be funded by a collective insurance scheme or similar. Business travellers and students could use a similar insurance scheme or their businesses or universities could pay it.

    Despite the inevitable BBC opposition, I would think such a scheme would be very popular with the electorate.

    • Alan
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      But that would decrease the numbers of tourists, business people and students who come to this country, and we need the wealth that they bring here. Like most immigration controls your proposal would damage us more than it would the immigrants.

      • zorro
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        So you say with no evidence whatsoever to support that stand.


        • zorro
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          Will we lose 3 million jobs if we leave the EU too?


          • libertarian
            Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:53 pm | Permalink


            “Will we lose 3 million jobs if we leave the EU too?”

            No we won’t thats a myth peddled by the Europhiles however we will lose a few million workers which could create a big problem

            ( For the avoidance of doubt I would vote to leave the EU like a shot, I wouldn’t be so quick to remove the free movement of people though via EFTA)

          • zorro
            Posted August 5, 2015 at 7:01 am | Permalink

            If you have read any of my posts, you might have realised that I was being ironic ?


      • Mitchel
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Immigration on the scale we have witnessed presents an existential threat at the very least to our culture and curtailing it should have precedence over eking out a bit more GDP.Furthermore,if the government-and populace -were better at generating wealth rather than squandering it we would not “need” to import it.

        • Graham
          Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          Well said

    • Qubus
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      I agree with your comment about using our Armed Forces, but where on earth do you think that these people will get the money from to pay a bond?

      • Kenneth
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink


        It would be refundable. The vast majority of people would not pay anything apart from the very small cost for the premium.

        Tourist operators would pay the fee directly or through a collective scheme and they would reclaim the money when the tourist exits the country. The only cost is cash flow which is cheap these days (low interest rates) and the risk of a tourist overstaying.

        They would charge the tourist a premium which would vary according to the risk that the tourist presents. Yes, for some tourists the cost could be greater if they were deemed to be at a greater risk of overstaying. For the majority the cost would be negligible and largely unnoticed.

        I would suggest that most business travellers would fall into the ‘negligible cost’ category.

        Regarding overseas students, we are told that they bring a lot of revenue into the UK. Thus, the main beneficiaries (presumably the universities and colleges) would surely be happy to pay a refundable fee or a premium. This would have the happy effect of forcing them to take more notice of the risk of certain students overstaying

  32. Richard
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    “The UK announced under the Coalition that illegals will not have access to housing, bank accounts, driving licences, benefits and the rest. The new government is now seeking to put in place detailed legislation and administration to make sure that happens.”

    This is the government acting as a “Nero fiddling whilst Rome burns”.

    These illegal immigrants are living in sheds and garages. They are not interested in bank accounts and prefer the black market. If they are driving a car it will be without a licence or insurance.

    If the government does not apply the only workable solution to stop the immigrants coming to the UK, which is to immediately remove from the country all illegal immigrants as soon as they are found, even if they are claiming to be asylum seekers, then we can expect a continuous stream of immigrants to arrive leading to hundreds of Calais type areas spreading throughout the country.

    • stred
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      One of the French ministers was saying that the reason migrants prefer to come to the UK is that we have no ID cards and they can work in the black economy. As someone who has owned a house in France for 26 years, the Minister should try employing French builders and gardeners. Almost all never show ID and prefer cash.

      Most successful illegals arrive by clinging under lorries or hiding inside and even under the Eurotunnel wagons. Once inside the compound, lorry drivers should be safe enough to check and assistance should be given. The eurotunnel wagons should also be checked. In the tunnel there could be detectors and alarms to deter anyone trying to walk through. There are two rail tunnels and a service tunnel in the middle and access links from the rail tunnel to the service tunnel to be used in emergencies. It should be possible to block the service tunnel with a gate half way and near the entrance. To stop migrants going out into the rail tunnels and back into the last leg to England, these could be gated and keys given to train operating staff . To stop anyone trying to walk in the narrow gap between the trains and the side of the tunnel, a medium voltage electrified barrier could be installed along the parts near the entrance and over the track.

      It is never going to be possible to fence off the railway used by the TGV and migrants will just walk to the exit/entrance, which has to stay open. A guard will be necessary. Please let James Brokenshire know. He is quite bright for a minister.

      • alan jutson
        Posted August 6, 2015 at 2:53 pm | Permalink


        It would seem from Press reports on a Select Committee meeting,that Mr Brokenshaw has never visited Calais to see first hand what is going on for himself, he relies upon reports probably from others who have never been either.

        This is like managing a manufacturing plant,without ever going onto the shop floor and speaking to the workers.
        You will never have a clue as to what is really going on at all.

        He needs to get out there (for a night) and see for himself the absolute chaos, perhaps it would also be good for him to wait in a queue in his car for 4 hours just outside the Channel Terminal before he caught the train as others have had to do.

        Then and only then, perhaps would he have a clue as to what is really going on.

        Reply I would be surprised if Mr Brokenshire has never been through Calais. Any cursory viewing of recent tv gives a clear indication of what is happening, and his official briefings will be factual and detailed.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Exactly there are loads of people driving around without licence/insurance. Ask the insurance brokers…..


  33. Atlas
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    I’ve sent e-mails to my MP on this matter but all I get in return is his office sending me what are suspiciously (Government spin?) worded replies.

    I hope you have more fortune in your dealings with Mrs May’s office (I gather she is on holiday at the moment – I wonder whether she is giving those whose holidays are being ruined by events at Calais much thought?).

    • stred
      Posted August 5, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Last night I was planning to escape to my holiday house with tools and bits and pieces by driving via the M2/A2 and going via Dunkirk. Today, Radio Kent has reported that Manston Airport is to be used to extend the M20 lorry park. Locals warn that now the M2/A2 will be blocked too and holiday traffic disrupted. While over at Dunkirk, people smugglers and another camp have been detected. Newhaven-Dieppe is nearly full and expensive. Perhaps an answer would be for HMG to create a private publicly owned company to buy the My Ferry ships and get back some competition and capacity, running to Dieppe or Boulogne, which closed the Seacat route a few years ago.

  34. Bert Young
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Its 11.30 and all of the responses so far express the overall feeling that we are not vigorous enough in out efforts to constrain and stop the Calais problem . A French friend of mine with relatives in Lille has said how annoyed she is that there is hardly any mention of the Calais crisis in the French media . She believes the French have turned their back on this problem and could not give a damn how it impinges on us .

    We are in no position to accept immigrants who crash through fences and who are unlikely to add to the well-being of our country . We must do more than simply denying benefits . Alan Jutson has spelt out what we should be doing and how it is afforded . It calls for strong leadership to overcome this crisis ; sadly this is lacking .

  35. BigD
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The issue is why the UK Gov cannot get its act together in holding/processing/rejecting/deporting the failed asylum seekers, but allows them to stay unchecked in the UK until they acquire their rights to a family life etc & cannot be removed.

    Why is so much of our ring-fenced Foreign Aid budget being wasted on pointless, right-on projects run by the sons & daughters of the Guardian chatterati, and so little being spent on border control & enforcement? Why does this Government prioritise looking good on the international stage over looking after its own people ?

    Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    The BBC this morning says there were ONLY 600 attacks by migrants at Calais last night., 20 of whom were “detained” . Au contraire . These figures cannot be trusted at all. A previous Labour Home Secretary is famed for answering the question: “How many illegal migrants have entered the UK? ” with “How can I possibly know how many, by definition they are illegal and therefore NOT KNOWN. ” Naturally enough, the Home Office at the time was quite able to estimate the number of illegal cigarettes entering the country at one and a half billion. A convenient mathematical ability.

    Of course no-one can know how many crimes against we British were successful last night or any night unless you are a recently stopped smoker who can smell a cigarette , even unlit, downwind as well as upwind, from 100 yards away and cough exaggeratedly to prove it. A touch of mass hysteria may also help the the Home Office with their sums.

    Judging by recent articles by the French and German press, the migrant crisis is rather more pronounced in their countries than in some other places. It seems 1 in 5 residents in Germany are foreign born. In 2014 she had 10.9 million “newcomers”. And double the rate in 2015 to 2014 of racist incidents. The population of Switzerland is now 25% foreign born.
    European peoples have a recent history and a modern history and indeed an ancient history of behaving like recently given-up smokers. So what silly stupid game are European governments playing and what crass game is the UK government playing?

    Some people it seems in the citadels of power are deliberately trying to create social and political strife in our lives. If not then their negligence and ignorance of human psychology and sociology should merit custodial sentences.

    • zorro
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Gives them more reason to clamp down on the rest of us when they want to…..


    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      It does seem deliberate, but I believe the outcomes they are seeking is one of exploitation and power. We got a little glimpse of this from Mr Sutherland (UN refugee commissioner, ex EU Commissioner , and Goldman Sachs chairman ) in his speech to the Lords where he advocated the implementation of multiculturalism and mass immigration as a means to fracture nations.

      This is an understandable position of an EU Commissioner who wants to rule regions, and a Goldman Sachs Chairman who finds it annoying that their ability to churn assets is stymied by people who think their country belongs to them. Here they don’t find much in the way of opposition in the UK, as British authorities played the divide and rule game as colonial administrators, and who seem content to bring this policy to England.

      • zorro
        Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Sutherland probably dreams of being a Persian satrap ruling over an amorphous blob in an empire…..


    • Moira Twigg
      Posted August 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      And what is never mentioned is that France, and Germany have a much less dense population than England. England has now overtaken Holland which has 408 (known) people per square kilometre to be the most highly populated country in Europe, with 419 (known) people per square kilometre.Germany has 226 PSK and France 105 PSK. Scotland has the lowest with 40 but the figure supplied by The World Bank prove interesting.

  37. T Lane
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink


    During the Olympic Games cermony many people remarked how out of place the NHS segment seemed to be.

    Now looking back, it just feels like the most self defeating advert in history; why advertise a free service if you don’t want to share it?

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Well Mr Cameron loved it and slapped down the (now ex) Tory MP who took it for what it really was – “lefty,multicultural c**p”.

  38. lojolondon
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    John, you make a very good point about the landlords – I have no wish to enable rogue landlords to rent to illegals, but I am about to rent out my flat. Do I really need to ensure the tenant is legal? Why should I do the work of the border agency? And will I go to jail for 5 years if a tenant’s visa expires while renting? I really think this looks shabbily thought out, and extremely draconian, especially when compared to our treatment of known illegal rapist/murderers who stay here indefinitely if we think they will not be well treated in their home country, for example.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      You will be pleased to know that when the Home Office was asked to supply official type visas , so people would be able to recognise what the real thing looked like, they were informed by the Home Office they couldn’t possible do that as there are so many different types of visas.

      Perhaps the proliferation of visas is clue why the Home Office is incapable of managing our borders.

  39. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Can’t really make any further comments about this as it has all been said before numerous times. What we are all waiting for is any government brave enough to take steps to resolve it. I think we have a long wait.

  40. Iain Gill
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Come on mate, how long is your Pinocchio nose growing repeating this clear nonsense. We know it’s nonsense, you know it’s nonsense, the whole world knows it’s nonsense, not least of which the potential immigrants know it’s nonsense. The story you are peddling doesn’t stand any scrutiny by anyone with the barest understanding of the facts. The political cloud and media may want us to believe this but we are not that stupid.
    Come on we expect better of you than to trot out this tripe.
    Illegal and legal Immigration and our borders are completely out of control. The idea that migrants will be unable to find somewhere to live with these rules is fantasy. Plenty of 20 + year old immigrants claim to be 15 to get free board and lodgings and the UK government to pay their way through university. This government is never going to put families with kids on the streets. And so very very much more. These are totally insufficient totally inappropriate inadequate responses.

  41. forthurst
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The COBRA committee of supremely self-important people laboured mightily and brought forth a mouse: guard dogs and chicken wire.

    The forces encouraging mass migrations into Europe from the third world need to be repulsed if Europe is to survive. This can only be achieved by a holistic approach to a range of problems that if not addressed will destroy us.

    The government must recognise that we are no longer a major world power, so our influence on others is very limited. The government, therefore, needs to take the following unilateral measures without delay: repeal the Treaty of Rome, revoke all Asylum Conventions, revoke all Human Rights Treaties,
    repeal all laws favouring people who are not, in point of fact, English over those that are, in terms of employment, housing, education, welfare, thoughtcrime.

    Czech President Milosh Zeman believes the migration crisis has been brought about by interventions in Iraq, Libya, Syria orchestrated by neocons (not his term). Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has authorized the use of air power to defend U.S.-trained Syrian rebels if they come under attack from terrorist groups or the Assad regime, deepening the U.S. role against Islamic State forces in Syria. It is quite clear that those who control US foreign policy do not care how much suffering they cause in furtherance of their geo-political ambitions, nor the blowback on us and the rest of Europe through concomitant refugee flows; it is important therefore that parliament votes down CMD if he attempts to engage us in further warmongering and makes clear to the world that neocons are the problem not the solution.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      No government could be this inept – Cameron is vain and stupid..but not that stupid.

      The camps could be shut down in one evening but Mr Cameron and his politically correct friends quite like rubbing our nose in diversity as his hero Mr Blair did.

  42. a-tracy
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Re the French Calais minister blaming the British, why have the French allowed people to set up tents? confiscate the tents – move people on. Play those sounds that stop kids playing outside sites so that they can’t sleep at Calais, stop making it easy for people to settle. Proper asylum seekers will be in centres seeking proper help, everyone else needs deterring.

    What is the point of being in the EU when they so blatantly want to pass Europe’s problems and costs on to us? Peter says we deserve French extra checks because we’re not in a club, hold on a minute are you saying the French treat people from the UK differently than everyone else from Europe entering France? This is going to end badly or will it be like Greece suddenly no longer allowed space in the news now they’ve had their money.

    • Hefner
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      A-Tracy, if you look at you’ll get the list of countries requiring Advanced Passenger Information. As Spain, part of Schengen, requires it, there is such a check at the Schengen borders, so between the UK and any other continental ports of entry.
      I don’t think it is particularly aimed at British people. I guess any tourist landing at Heathrow then deciding to go to continental Europe would have to fill such an API.

  43. Decent Landlord
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, your trust is misplaced. “I trust decent landlords will not end up in prison because they have made a mistake about an individual’s residence status, or have been misled by false or misleading documents”. Decent Landlords are easy targets. Easy targets are prosecuted time and again by the Judicial system. To avoid these issues, we have now given notice to our non-UK tenants of 6 years so we will be departing the Private Rental Sector after 20 years, leaving it to those less-decent landlords unprepared to reward loyalty with 15% under-market rents. Good luck in attracting more people into Buy-to-Let house-building and the PRS. Tenants will not be receiving more choice of housing or lower rents as a result of this policy, quite the opposite.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted August 4, 2015 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Decent Landlord is right, as are all the other posters. This legislation is an utter disgrace

      As a landlord,

      (i) How am I supposed to be able to identify the legitimacy of every possible piece of identification documentation that potential tenants may supply me with. I have no access to any of the systems or tools that the Border Agency have.

      (ii) How am I supposed to be responsible if my legally resident tenants allow someone I do not know about and who is not party to the tenancy to stay in the property. That person’s immigration status is apparently (actually there is nothing “apparently” about it) now my problem (with 5 years in prison as the potential consequence). It’s not as if I could even turn up unannounced if I suspected something because doing so is, in itself, illegal (and requiring 24 hours notice of access is something I have no problem).

      What with this ridiculous, unworkable (my only hope is that it actually proves to be so bad in practise it is actually unenforceable, and given how it is written I don’t rule this out) legislation and the tax changes in the budget, this government is clearly anti-small landlord.

      • Eddie Hill
        Posted August 5, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        Good point.

        However, the fact of laws being largely unenforceable seems not to concern our lawmakers these days.

        Indeed, didn’t we read a few days ago that burglary is no longer a crime, in that the police will not necessarily investigate it nor even turn up to interview the victims. In Leicester I read this morning, if you have an odd house number, your burglary will not be investigated, if you have an even number, it may!

        So, the penalty for burglary (at a time when it will obviously form the main employment for increasing numbers of people) will be nothing, and the penalty for something you have absolutely no control over, possibly 5 years in jail.

        However, the pursuit of people in breach of Orwellian racial or religious hatred laws will be relentless!

        It seems to me that our priorities are the things that need fixing, not our laws.

        • stred
          Posted August 5, 2015 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          Currently, we have 5 police forces investigating the sex crimes of dead politicians. They have requested victims to come forward. Google ‘sexual abuse compensation’ and a large number of solicitors and charities appear along with CPS guidance on changed rules, in which the balance has been changed to believing the victim rather than the perpetrator. The police will be busy. So far the scandal seems to stem from a one time brothel owner. (Sky News) How can they be expected to deal with burglars?

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted August 5, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Notice how they pursue with great vigour the ministers who are dead now and leave the living ones alone

        • alan jutson
          Posted August 6, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink


          The law of unintended consequences will mean that if you live in an odd numbered house, your insurance premiums will go up, because they are not being fully policed.

          Why Burgle and even numbered house (with a chance of being caught), when you can do an odd one.

  44. Martin
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    We clearly have a resource problem at UK Border Force as we are now expecting private sector landlords to police their tenants’ immigration status.

    The other problem with UK Border Force resourcing is that every airport of any note in the UK has to be staffed for border checks from 6AM to midnight for flights from the Schengen area. (typically Netherlands and Spain). Airlines have already to supply advance passenger information. Add to that Heathrow and Gatwick and the UK is spending vast amounts of resources checking folk who are supposed to be here. The holiday charter from Mallorca gets checked as thoroughly as the flight from Africa!

    If the political class are unwilling to join Schengen then they need to start being a lot more smarter with their checking. Use the advance passenger list. If the flight is clean then send the passengers into domestic arrivals. If only a few passengers need visa checks ask them off the plane first to go to International arrivals and send the rest to domestic.

  45. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted August 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Dennis on most points here. I like the Italians and guess that they take their own steps to police borders when necessary. Although I was not particularly interested in domestic affairs when I was younger ,I stood out against the building of the channel tunnel as I was aware that the surrounding UK seas protected us in world wars.
    Marriages are at present prominent in my area. Couples are getting married to live here and they can’t even have a conversation between each other due to language differences.We are sinking.
    I would live elsewhere, perhaps in France for most of the year to get away from the overcrowding if I were not single. I am glad that singles can still get benefits, even though I have worked for most for my life as a single person. We are a strange breed you know and is demonstrated by the need to get married to enter a Country and the benefit in itself for being in a couple.

  46. Chris S
    Posted August 5, 2015 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Following my post above, I regret that our host has not offered to ask the Government to organise a database to enable landlords to check the numerous different documents that a migrant could produce to confirm they are entitled to rent a property in the UK.

    The penalty of five years in prison is so severe that such a database is absolutely essential.
    By contrast, I see that UKIP have come out strongly in support of landlords over the matter.

    We simple cannot trust any government to treat landlords properly in this respect. One only has to look at the plight of truck drivers. Only this morning I read about one British driver who reported migrants in his truck to the authorities at Calais. French officers removed eight migrants from his truck. When he arrived in Dover he asked Border Force officers to check the truck again. Three more migrants were found that the French had missed.

    As a result, our hapless driver was fined £600 and his employer £1200 ! On appeal his fine was quashed but his employer still had to pay £1200. How can landlords have any faith in a system that treats its citizens like this ?

    Reply I am in correspondence with Ministers on these matters.

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 5, 2015 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    We need a system of returning unwanted economic migrants whence they came. If this proves to be impossible, then we need a kind of Devil’s Island to hold them in. Either that or sink the ships as they leave Libyan territorial waters; people rescued would be dumped back in Libya or wherever.

    Just as soon as draconian methods have stabilised the situation, we can arrange for the processing of would be immigrants from Africa to be carried out in their countries of origin.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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