by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
As of April 2015 passport exit immigration checks now in force again at UK borders and ports which is claimed being due to so many people wishing to travel to Syria and such places to join the so-called Islamic State or IS, aka ISIL or ISIS, and due to the fact, we are told, that so many illegal immigrant are hiding in plain sight in Britain.
The UK never fully implemented the Schengen Agreement of a borderless Europe and has always continued entry checks of passports and has now, more or less, thrown that agreement out of the window. The little island mentality has struck, once again. Though, personally, I have no time for the EU and its rules.
Thus now a new scheme is being phased in at UK border crossings, so that UK immigration can collect data on all passengers leaving the country. The information is obtained by staff working for airlines, ferry companies, etc. who must record details of every traveler leaving on a commercial flight, or by sea or by rail. The data collected is then passed on to the Home Office, the British Interior Ministry.
A Home Office spokesperson said that the government wants the checks to identify individuals who are in the UK illegally. This means that passport and travel details will be transmitted to the Home Office.
The information will then be collated and added to Home Office data, where it can be accessed if the government needs it. All data will be processed in line with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the common law duty of confidentiality, they say, but we all know what that means, namely little to nothing.
The government says it has launched the scheme under the 2014 Immigration Act, mainly to monitor immigration and gather data. It is also in place they say to boost national security; ministers say that it enables police and spies to track the activity of known criminals and terrorists across the world.
According to Security and UK Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire this is to ensure that the UK has an immigration system that is fair, tackles illegal immigration and cracks down on those who attempt to cheat the system by remaining in the country when they have no right to do so. Exit checks, so he said, will give crucial information that confirm a person's exit from the UK. Well, how else would they know when people leave, where they go, and when or if they come back into the country.
And, according to former Independent Chief Inspector of UK Borders and Immigration, John Vine, it will allow the government, for the first time in a long time, to obtain information about who is left in Britain. Up until recently, he said further, has not been possible for the government to know who has overstayed their visa and who has remained in the country.
Let us not be deceived. Anyone who believes that this is intended to make the country more secure is living in cloud cuckoo land. It is yet another way of the British government to restrict the freedoms of the “citizens” (the reason the word citizens here is in quotation marks is because there is not such thing as a British citizen) and residents by ensuring that their every move can be monitored. But they dare to to talk about the German Democratic Republic having been a repressive and describing at as an Unrechtsstaat.
The UK not so long ago enacted legislation that will prevent people who owe unpaid debt (mortgages excluded, it would appear) from leaving the country, even to go on vacation and having a return ticket. So, what is going to stop the government to restrict travel abroad of people who are considered non-conformist as to government views and such? Nothing. All it will require is a little tweaking of the legislation and bingo.
So the day may not be far off that the British people will – once again – require a permission to leave the country (and that it what a passport originally was, and it had to be obtained each and every time someone wanted to “pass port”). But, then again it is all intended to keep us safe (sarcasm off). Soon the day may come that people in the UK – and elsewhere – will require a permission to leave the place of residence, I should not be surprised.