UK Conservatives Vow to Increase Biometrics at Borders

UK border control
Home Secretary Priti Patel said, "The consequence of EU law limiting our border capability is brought home to me every day. It is a sad fact that drugs and guns reach our streets from Europe, fueling violence and addiction. People traffickers don’t think twice about risking people’s lives for profit. And most shockingly of all we know that terrorists have been able to enter the country by exploiting free movement.” But Labour warned that the Conservatives' Brexit would hamper border security by pulling the UK out of key information-sharing systems with the EU.

December 2, 2019 – In Breaking News – BBC News

If the party wins the general election, it says it will introduce automated exit and entrance checks.

It would also make it harder for people with serious criminal convictions to enter the UK from EU countries.

Labour says the UK would no longer have access to EU databases or the European Arrest Warrant, undermining the fight against terror and organized crime.

The Liberal Democrats say the Conservative plans would lead to “bureaucracy, more red tape and – because the EU will implement a mirrored system for the British public – fees for anyone traveling to the EU for their holiday”.

Announcing the proposals, Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “When people voted to leave in 2016, they were voting to take back control of our borders.

“After Brexit we will introduce an Australian-style points based immigration system and take steps to strengthen our border and improve the security of the UK.”

(Home secretary Priti Patel vowed to ‘end the free movement of people once and for all’ as she outlined a hardline immigration policy at the Conservative party conference.  ‘As Home Secretary at this defining moment in our country’s history, I have a particular responsibility when it comes to taking back control,’ Patel said. ‘It is to end the free movement of people once and for all.’ Courtesy of The Guardian and YouTube. Posted on Oct 1, 2019.)

The party says introducing automated entry and exit checks and a requirement for biometric passports will enable the government to “know who and how many people are in the country, and to identify individuals who have breached the terms of their visa and restrict illegal immigration”.

Successive UK governments have attempted to introduce a more reliable system for counting people in and out of the country, with limited success.

The Australian Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) for example, is electronically linked to your passport and authorizes you to travel to Australia for tourism or business visitor purposes.

The Conservatives say they would also introduce an American-style visa waiver scheme, called Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), which travelers would have to obtain before reaching the UK border.

It would provide an enhanced ability to screen arrivals against watchlists and block those deemed to be a threat from entering the UK, the party claims.

As the technology becomes available, a future Conservative government would hope to record biometric data – which might include things like fingerprints or retina scans – on all ETAs to provide a further security layer, although the party does not go into details.

(Learn More about Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) entry requirement for Canada, which took effect on March 15, 2016. Courtesy of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada and YouTube.)

In last year’s White Paper setting out its post-Brexit immigration plans, the government said: “It is our intention to require EU citizens to obtain an ETA, but we intend to discuss this further with the EU in the next phase of negotiations.”

Continue reading… General election 2019: Tory plan to improve border security after Brexit

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