back to article MPs criticise 'impossible' e-Borders schedule

An influential group of MPs today claimed the government's timetable for the £1.2bn e-Borders programme is "impossible" and criticised the lack of progress on legal problems. The Home Affairs Select Committee said that officials have not resolved concerns in Europe. The e-Borders system aims to register every journey in and …


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  1. Colin Miller
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    Unless they can get Dublin to join in, then it is easy (if costly) to circumvent by taking the ferry to Northern Ireland, and then crossing the land border to Ireland.

    So either

    1) You need to notify the Border Agency when you are travelling between NI and GB, which is easy to police, but would anger the Unionists,

    2) You need to notify the Border Agency when you cross the between NI and Ireland. This is almost impossible to police. Infact, on the smaller roads, the only way to tell that you've crossed is that the road signs are a different style and are in km not miles.

    I seem to remember that the government were proposing option 1 in this, or a similar bill.

    Non-EU visitors crossing the border are meant to notify the Police/Garda each time they cross , but I doubt that many people do.

  2. The Fuzzy Wotnot


    "It has previously said e-Borders is on schedule and budget and dismissed legal problems."

    Sounds like the Labour government's general policy on everything to me!

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Remind me again *why* this is needed

    And what's this about notification in advance.

    I thought the scrapping of internal passports in the former Soviet Union was thought a *good* thing.

    Obviously not by some of the more power crazed nutters of the Home Office.

    And wasn't free movement one of the items of the ECHR?

    I smell a distinct whiff of Eau Du Fail on this time table.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A non-answer... a non-problem, by people who wouldn't know the difference and couldn't care less anyway.

    But the Jobs have already gone out to the Boys, and palms presumably already crossed with silver, so it's too late to turn back now, no matter how inanely stupid the entire project is.

    The problem with almost all these IT-based surveillance and record systems - even if they work - is that the govt presumably think it gives them more power. Whereas the power will actually reside with those who control the data.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
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      @John 186

      The governments will know *exactly* as much as their service providers *allow* them to know.

      Any government thinking they will be in *control* of this system is delusional.

  5. z0mb13e

    Being deliberatley awkward...

    These things make me want to be deliberately awkward... buying standby tickets, turning up at the ferry to Ireland and buy a ticket there and then, deliberately not carrying a passport and then arguing about the common travel area or the EU right to freedom of travel. Travelling in and out on different passports...

    Best of all if having to notify the Borders agency when crossing between Northern Ireland the the Republic of Ireland, why don't we organise a 'cross border' cricket match with players having to ring up each time they want to make a run...

    1. Raumkraut
      Thumb Up

      That's just not cricket!

      Would the players have to file a customs declaration every time the ball passed over the border, too?

      Unfortunately, being that annoying (yet correct) bastard, holding up the queue and irritating security, only makes life difficult for the staff at the port. It does nothing to those who actually make the stupid policies.

      I suppose it might be different if you can get arrested/deported (for doing something entirely legal) and make a lot of noise in the papers. But in that case, acting like an ass isn't going to do you any favours.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You'd need to have a "compromise rules" sporting event. Finding some sort of middle ground between hurling and cricket would be quite hard but definitely fun to watch. Failing that, some version of bowling (or "bouling") would be suitable.

  6. Frank Long

    If that effectively breaks up the CTA...

    ...then does that mean the Republic of Ireland can finally join the Schengen Area? Huzzah! No more stupid travel rules imposed by Westminister, pandering to people who would otherwise vote for the BNP and finally have a sensible visa system for people who are not lucky enough to be born in the EU.

    Will save Ireland a fortune on border checks and immigration control, now they'll only have to check flights from the UK and non-EU countries.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the reason for this is what again?

    This is so much a copy of what the USoA is doing, that the only reason I see for it existing is exactly that: Hand data (and fingerprints) to the USoA. Why exactly are we doing that? What's in it for us? Well? Nothing? Splendid. Carry on government!

  8. Boring Bob
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    Wot's the point

    You will never stop illegal immigrants, while the difference between the poorest and richest countries is so large the obstacles you put in place to illegal immigration will always be worth circumventing. This is going to be another case of a load of extra rules that only honest citizens need to follow, those involved in illegal activity will ignore them like they ignore all the other rules.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
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    Being able to count the number of people coming and going to a country is useful

    But does it *take* an upteen billion pound computer system to do it?

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