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How To Solve Heathrow Queues In Time To Save The Olympics


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I have a new and cunning plan to solve the queues at Heathrow, save the Olympics and, as an added bonus, revitalise rock bottom morale at the UK Border Agency, which is by all accounts now falling apart at the seams of its soon-to-be-replaced uniforms.

All Theresa May has to do is mug Dr Who, steal the Tardis and go back in time a few short months to the border checks fiasco. Instead of hanging Brodie Clarke out to dry before he has even had a chance to explain himself in flagrant denial of anything resembling fair process and thereby sending a signal to her civil servants that they will be sacrificed in the blink of an eye if politically expedient to do so, she would stand by him, stand up to the unprincipled, opportunist Labour populists and tell the media that controlled, risk-based border checks are a legitimate and proportionate way of managing our borders and have been for time immemorial, including under the last Government. Instead of making a rod for her own back and saddling the country with an utterly unworkable system of border control just in time for a massive international sporting event to which quite a few people might apparently want to travel from abroad, she would lay the foundations for the re-establishment of some commonsense in immigration control after years of slide towards a stultified, box-ticking, bureaucratic disaster.

And that she takes it all back about The Cat, which was just a bit of party political nonsense.

Problem solved.

Or perhaps Theresa May is secretly a No Borders believer and this was all part of her cunning plan to make immigration control so self evidently preposterous and obnoxious to the holiday going classes that they will eventually clamour for its total abolition. In which case I have new found respect for our esteemed Home Secretary.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


4 Responses

  1. Why FM what a constructive, practical non opportunist and non partisan contribution, I take back everything I ever said about ‘immigration lawyers’ having no realistic solution as to how the system should be operated. Hats off to FM!

  2. I have contributed the following to another forum, but might as well post it here, too:-

    “The delays are as a consequence of the government’s insistence that the IOs conduct the full range of checks so that the appearance of inviolate borders can be presented to the public. The home sec of the day can stand up in parliament and assure one-and-all that they are protected from ne’erdowells who want to blow things up.

    However, to the best of my knowledge, these checks per se have not led to one instance of the identification of a serious criminal threat, but are good at finding Joe Bloggs coming back from his week in Malaga who has an outstanding bench warrant for failing to appear in relation to a minor matter. Additionally, that so much reliance is placed on technology to conduct these checks leads to complacency amongst the IOs. They’re so occupied with the checking process that their own nous and skill in identifiying forgeries is eroded. The machines identify a passport that has been tampered with, but not one that is presented by someone simply passing themselves off as being the person in the passport. That is a human skill which the IO now doesn’t have the time to address.”

    Additionally, in the post-election wave of euphoric Tory austerity, the UKBA happily slashed away at staff numbers, with many long-in-the-tooth IOs being more than happy to take the early ticket. Such a short-term policy has inevitably returned to squarely bite the Tories on the backside. The irony is that Theresa and Damian intend to ‘cover’ the Olympics by re-employing those officers given redundancy/early retirement on temporary, yet preferential contracts!