Friday, 8 July 2011

PM to investigate airport immigration loophole

The Prime Minister is to investigate claims that there is a loophole where people do not require a passport to enter the country. Officers from special branch and immigration departments have complained that people are able to use a 'Common Area Travel Channel' which allows individuals to access this country without their passports being checked.

A typical scenario would be that the individuals fly into London with an additional air ticket from a different airport in the British Isles. The additional ticket is then used to walk through the 'common area' where travellers are not always asked to show their passports. Commenting on the issue, the Prime Minister stated - 

'Passport-free travel between the UK, the crown dependencies and the Republic of Ireland has been in place for many years and it does offer some real economic and social benefits. I do accept these routes can be open to abuse and we are determined to resolve this. The UK Border Agency is working very closely with Ireland and others to make sure this happens. But we've got to try to do that, without disadvantaging people who've been able to take advantage of the ‘Common Area Travel Channel’ up to now.'

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