back to article UK now part of another Euro data-spaff scheme

The United Kingdom has joined the European Union's new Schengen Information System II (SIS II), a multinational database-sharing platform for member states' authorities to access each others' databases in real time. Following the Council of the European Union's decision of 12 February, the UK has, as of this week, been given …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

    (yes, there are enough of us around to remember)

    we still haven't got freedom of movement within Europe (one of the selling points)

    we still haven't got freedom of trade

    There is a point of view that UKIP aren't necessarily *anti* Europe.

    Just don't feel like giving it another 42 years.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

      > we still haven't got freedom of movement within Europe (one of the selling points)

      Yep. The Government seem happy to sign-up to all the Schengen "behind the scenes" bits but just can't quite bring itself to scrap the border controls.

      > we still haven't got freedom of trade

      Errm, we've had free trade within Europe for ages. Did you have an example in mind?

      ['Eat this' icon as the EU is so indelibly associated with the CAP]

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

        "we still haven't got freedom of movement within Europe (one of the selling points)"

        As someone who has been part of the EU for 27 years, and travelled as far as Hungary by car from Birmingham, are you sure about this? The only time my passport was required was leaving Dover and then on the way back in Dunkirk. Going from France, Germany, Luxemborg (cheapest place to buy Jagermiester), Austria, France, Belgium and Holland, I didn't at any point need to produce my passport.

        To me, that's freedom of movement. But if it's a bit more complex than that I'd like to find out.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

          "We" as in UK citizens - we still need government permission to leave Her Maj's private island

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

            'Her Majestys' servants don't really care if we leave.

            Much more interested when we come back though.

            A quick day trip into a neighbouring EU state for some cheap wine and smokes makes you feel like a major drug trafficker these days.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

              >'Her Majestys' servants don't really care if we leave.

              The police can however just ask a local magistrate for a banning order and confiscate your passport if they "suspect" you plan to do something naughty abroad. Of course the legislation was only intended for football hooligans - it just came in really useful for stopping anti-G8 protesters going to Paris.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @wolftone

          Congratulations, you have just confirmed that the UK *didn't* join Schengen - hence the location of your passport checks.

          1. wolfetone Silver badge

            Re: @wolftone

            @AC

            So the UK government have stopped you going on a booze run to France without a passport then.

            Makes sense.

        3. swampdog

          Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

          "by car from Birmingham, are you sure about this"

          Of course not. Let us not forget the Austin Allegro!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

        Errm, we've had free trade within Europe for ages. Did you have an example in mind?

        Try and buy and bring back 10,000 cigarettes for yourself from Belgium or France, and see what HMRC illegally do.

        1. Jack Faust meets Mephistopheles

          Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

          @AC - I'd beinterested to see what they do, after all their own guidance states you can bring an unlimited amount in for personal consumption and / or gifting, see:

          https://www.gov.uk/duty-free-goods/arrivals-from-eu-countries

          Although they may apparantly ask you questions if it's above 800, personally I don't mind as I love a quiz, me, I hope there aren't any sports questions though, I'm rubbish at those.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmm 42 years after joining the Common Market

      Indeed - exactly as per the footnote in the article: without further checks or balances on their power to do so.

      Other countries have it. It is the implementation of Eu directives in their own law including data protection, human rights, etc. This includes rights such as the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, etc. All "cute" nice stuff absent from UK law.

      Yes, I know, Parliament is sovereign and shall not be bound... When you give it a thought and have a look at parliament questions for 5 minutes you start thinking that binding it (in a straightjacket) may not be such a bad idea after all.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    "a key tool for national authorities to cooperate to fight terrorism and serious organised crime."

    Ah, important to get the word terror in there, however the reality is more likely to be "catch tax dodgers" but that doesn't scare up the proles as much and "paedophiles" was even less easy to lever onto the justification. It's all about the money, with law enforcement a second priority - it's no coicidence that "serious organised crime" is considered so serious as they don't pay their taxes.

    Maybe I'm just feeling particularly cynical today...

  4. Teiwaz Silver badge

    More UKIP bait

    So much moaning about potentially negative EU legislation. It really depends how open to abuse this is.

    With the recent record of badly tabled legislation in the UK of late, it'll probably end up being a keystone of the future police state.

    Yet people continue to vote for the same old parties who have the same old agendas either under the table or over the table with spin (most probably across the union).

    When they do finally flip, its into the hands of extremists running almost singularly on a 'scapegoat' agenda, as if everything will be rosey in the garden of eden (or englands green and pleasant land) when the undesirables are removed, didn't work last century, won't work this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More UKIP bait

      "..as if everything will be rosey in the garden of eden (or englands green and pleasant land) when the undesirables are removed, didn't work last century, won't work this."

      Indeed. Like I always say, the events of the interbellum were yesterday, and can happen again tomorrow. It's way too intellectually lazy to dismiss it as unrepeatable ancient history. Really hoping that 1919 - 1939 is actually taught in history class these days, it's often overlooked, and IMHO is one of the most enlightening periods in modern history.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: More UKIP bait - 'Don't mention the War'

        1919 - 1939 Used to be on the GCSE syllabus, don't know if it still is. Of course you'd have to have chosen history as an option in most cases.

        It's not all intellectual laziness, but an inherited sense of moral superiority, merely because the UK had a slight moral high ground at the start and a definite moral high ground by the end, and they've been coasting on that reputation for the last sixty odd years.

  5. Daniel von Asmuth
    FAIL

    GooglEnvy

    As the Reg said: "In 2013, the system was accessed more than 1.2 billion times;" and "8774 persons were arrested". Now if you take the number of arrested persons who were not subsequently convected and the number of seized objects that had to be returned to their owners, our Eurocracy looks like a hallmark of inefficiency, if your average Google search turns up a thousand hits.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: GooglEnvy

      Unless "the system was accessed more than 1.2 billion times;" just means the server logs.

      So perhaps somebody did a "select * from" before doing all the processing in Excel ;-)

  6. 's water music

    23,942 discreet checks on persons or objects were performed

    How many indiscreet checks were made? What were their natures? Po-po checking for noodz of slebs or attractive colleagues? Bulgarians conducting airbag seizures? Enquiring minds...

  7. D Moss Esq

    Who told you that?

    The UK has hitherto not been extended access to the SIS II as it is not part of the Schengen free movement area. However, as of April 13 it is now allowed to use the SIS within the context of police and judicial cooperation, though not in relation to external border policy.

    Re SIS I: "The UK was given access to sensitive information on criminal and policing matters held on the Schengen Information System, an EU-wide directory, in 2000, but there have been repeated technical problems".

    Re SIS II, I was told at a meeting at the Home Office on 23 February 2010 that the UK should be able to use it from 2012.

    Interpol weren't impressed with UK border control in 2004. Or 2007.

    Raytheon didn't help.

    The problems lie in the UK Border Force. Not the EU.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ 2+5=5 (plus VAT?)

    "Errm, we've had free trade within Europe for ages. Did you have an example in mind?"

    Here's one: bought Netflix UK subscription from UK company. Want to watch in Bulgaria. Can't.

    Here's another one: bought a nice plant in Amsterdam. Want to take it home to Wales. Can't.

    One last one: run a pub in Portsmouth, show TV acquired (legally) from Greek company, get sued. The case turned out partially in her favour, but if we had free trade, it could never have been brought.

    On the other hand, things like this play straight into the hands of the idiots of UKIP. Or worse, the Daily Fail.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: @ 2+5=5 (plus VAT?)

      An interesting statistic from Robert Peston's blog over at the beeb:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32347960

      61% of new UK jobs went to UK nationals, which means 39% of them didn't go to UK nationals..

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @ 2+5=5 (plus VAT?)

          @AC I didn't realise out of a UK population of 64million roughly only 40 million were UK nationals. Or are we seeing a bias in the numbers here ?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Banknot€$

    re this line: a power for specified bodies with access to SIS II to issue alerts for “banknotes (registered notes)”.

    there was always a rumour, around the time that the Hitachi mμ RFID chip came out in 2006 (a nano-sized mote that would fit *inside* a piece of paper) that high value banknotes could occasionally be RF labelled - easier for a border-point to detect random cash smuggling, or praps look for specific serial numbers

    good news that UK has joined SIS II, does that mean they've finally granted the EU databases operators permission to see the UK SIS II search metadata [some earlier concern was that if it was known, through metadata leakage, that the Sweeney was interested in a mafia boss pretending to be the president of, say, Bulgaria - then he might do a runner before the guvnor nicked 'im] innit?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Plants from abroad

    "bought a nice plant in Amsterdam. Want to take it home to Wales. Can't."

    Quite right too. Too many alien pathogens and animals in the UK. The ghost slug is an example of an unwanted visitor that's made it's home here.

    1. x 7

      Re: Plants from abroad

      "bought a nice plant in Amsterdam. Want to take it home to Wales. Can't."

      presumably a pot plant?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plants from abroad

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/rare-slug-eating-plant-stolen-1-503712

      1. x 7

        Re: Plants from abroad

        That would be a good present for the ex-wife. And her mother

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