News has broke today that senior officials at the UK Border Agency (UKBA) told border guards to not bother checking passports of non-EU nationals at the UK border in our seaports and airports.
When anyone enters the UK – British citizens or not – our passports are meant to be ‘scanned’ against databases of known names of those who are a risk or threat to the UK. That is what border guards are doing when they place your passport under the scanner at their post. But it seems this summer somebody, undoubtedly very senior, at the UKBA – without the permission of ministers – ordered border guards not to bother checking non-EU passports and instead just to glance at them and let anybody in. The reason for this given so far were the queues at the border were too long; I at least hope this was the reason and not a left-wing culture in the Home Office that would prefer to continue rubbing the Right’s nose in diversity.
Compare this to entering the United States. Firstly, you can’t even get on the plane in the originating country without telling the US Government in advance you are coming and then you have to tell them the same information you told them before you left in your landing card, and then, typically, you need to wait an hour in an immigration queue before being grilled by a border guard. Now, that is what I call immigration control. It seems the UK Home Office wouldn’t know the meaning of the word ‘control’.
The head of the UKBA, Brodie Clark, has already been suspended, as well as two other senior officials.
Theresa May needs to get a grip and fast.