UK to get unified border force

#1
it was mentioned in another thread, but here is the full story from the BBC

Britain is to get a "unified border force" to boost the fight against terrorism, the prime minister has said
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Britain is to get a "unified border force" to boost the fight against terrorism, the prime minister has said.
A "highly visible" uniformed force would bring together immigration and Customs officers, Gordon Brown said.

He also announced a review of allowing intercept evidence to be used in court, and doubling the 28 days police can question suspects before charging them.

The border force has been called for by the Conservatives for years, and had previously been rejected by ministers.

Officers from the Border and Immigration Agency, Revenue and Customs and UKVisas will be brought together to create a "single primary checkpoint" for passport control and customs.

'Uniformed presence'

The force would have powers to detain people suspected of immigration offences, Mr Brown said.

Outlining his counter-terrorism strategy to MPs, he said the cabinet secretary had been asked to report back by October on how to implement the proposal "very soon".
Responding to the statement, Tory leader David Cameron said: "I'm delighted he has finally adopted our policy of a border police force."

Mr Brown also said he wanted stronger measures to stop terrorism suspects arriving in the first place, through electronic screening of all passengers checking in and out of the UK.

He said all visa applicants would require biometric visas from March 2008 and the existing "e-borders scheme" would be expanded.

Detention limits

And he said 4,000 foreign prisoners are likely to be deported this year.

An "all-party consensus" on the use of intercept evidence in court and questioning of suspects after they have been charged would be sought.

Mr Brown also said he would consult on whether to extend beyond 28 days the period suspects can be held before they are charged - possibly up to 56 days, subject to a judge's approval and parliamentary scrutiny.

An attempt to extend the period to 90 days in 2005, ended with Tony Blair's first Commons defeat as prime minister.
On Tuesday, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said "the time is now right" to reconsider extending it beyond the current limit - due to the complexity of some plots.

But the Tories, Lib Dems and some Labour backbenchers have opposed attempts to extend the 28-day limit.

Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesman Nick Clegg, told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme that the proposal for there to be Parliamentary oversight of any extension would not work.

"I think it is a complete and utter nonsense, this idea that Parliament could act as a court, basically intervening in individual prosecutions, which is what seems to be the case," he said.

"What is Parliament supposed to do when the police are detaining someone without charge? They won't be given privy to all the information so I'm afraid I think a lot of that is a bit of a fig leaf."

Other proposals announced include:


-A new system of electronic exit controls at UK borders from 2009, so that passports can be checked against the "warnings index" in real time.

-From March 2008 biometric visas to be extended to all visa applicants

-A review of how to best protect crowded places, buildings and national infrastructure such as roads, railways, tunnels, bridges, water systems and utilities

-UK watchlist of suspects to be linked to the Interpol database of lost and stolen documents

-£70m to help local councils and community groups with citizenship projects aimed at combating extremism

-Consultation on tightening bail conditions and travel restrictions on terrorism suspects

Mr Brown told MPs there had been 15 attempted terrorist attacks on Britain since 2001 and 30 people had been convicted so far this year.

He said 900 shopping centres, sports centres and other venues where large numbers of people congregate had been assessed by counter-terrorism advisers.

And he said "additional protection" was needed for utility sites, crowded places and the national infrastructure, from roads and the railway to waterways.

Reviews on security measures at such sites would be on-going over the summer, he added.
 
#2
Does this mean we will get an efficient force, trained and equipped to PROPERLY enforce the entry requirements?? With powers to reject, detain and remove unwanted unentitled potential immigrants?

Afraid I doubt it and can see yet another cobbled together knee jerk in the hope of allaying fears, and getting a polotico's name on the headlines again.

:(
 
#3
Interseting!! I would like to know where they are recruiting the manpower for this particular unit, or whether it's an amalgamation of existing dept's already employed within this field. Seeing as there are so many ex forces personnel knocking around and due to leave, i would have thought they could make a good contribution in this area with skills aquired during service.

don't know if anyone else has thoughts on this matter?
 
#4
tartanterrier39 said:
Interseting!! I would like to know where they are recruiting the manpower for this particular unit, or whether it's an amalgamation of existing dept's already employed within this field. Seeing as there are so many ex forces personnel knocking around and due to leave, i would have thought they could make a good contribution in this area with skills aquired during service.

don't know if anyone else has thoughts on this matter?
Excellent idea TT, positively brilliant. That's why the politicians will never do it.

This will be the existing organisations 'rebranded' and put on show as the all singing all dancing answer to the problems. For that reason it won't be effective because the mindset will not change, the regulations and procedures will not change and the necessary powers will not be forthcoming because it would offend 'Yooman Rites' legislation!!!

I do however agree with you, what is needed is a military style organisation which will apply the laws etc fairly but strictly. Let's face it though, it won't happen like that!! :cry:
 
#5
As I said in the UK Border Police thread - just a collection of people who could'nt do the job in the first place amalgamated and given a new name, maybe a new uniform. But no new force and no real differance.

Setting up the kind of Border Force that is needed to protect our country would cost money - and there's no way the one-eyed, lying, gutless CNUT is going to spend the money he stole from us. :evil:

I have rarely been as p1ssed off as I am today. :pissedoff: It's my sincere hope that AQ do everyone a favour and suicide bomb parliament - in the middle of PMQ's.
 
#6
FrankIG said:
tartanterrier39 said:
Interseting!! I would like to know where they are recruiting the manpower for this particular unit, or whether it's an amalgamation of existing dept's already employed within this field. Seeing as there are so many ex forces personnel knocking around and due to leave, i would have thought they could make a good contribution in this area with skills aquired during service.

don't know if anyone else has thoughts on this matter?
Excellent idea TT, positively brilliant. That's why the politicians will never do it.

This will be the existing organisations 'rebranded' and put on show as the all singing all dancing answer to the problems. For that reason it won't be effective because the mindset will not change, the regulations and procedures will not change and the necessary powers will not be forthcoming because it would offend 'Yooman Rites' legislation!!!

I do however agree with you, what is needed is a military style organisation which will apply the laws etc fairly but strictly. Let's face it though, it won't happen like that!! :cry:
Your positivity inspires me no end lol.

Have to say though i agree with you entirely.
 
#7
I watched and listened to the announcement and the questions in the House and will reserve full judgement until I have read Hansard and available documents, but regarding border controls:
- not every Brit will have biometric passports or ID cards by 2009.
- border control won't stop legal possession of multiple passports after deed poll name changes.
- where will the chunnel trains stop so that all passengers can be checked?
- where will the internment camps be located for those failing to get entry into (or exit from) U.K. but arrive at the checkpoint(s) anyway?
- what 'warnings list' of EU passports will there be when the EU won't share information?
 

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