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EU Travel Bans

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 1 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2005, Official Report, column 1747W, on EU travel bans, what liaison takes place between the Immigration and Nationality Directorate and other of his Department’s agencies in monitoring entry to the UK by individuals subject to EU travel bans. (95333)

An individual who is subject to an EU travel ban is not normally permitted to enter the UK. An exemption can be agreed in respect of a person whose presence in the UK is required, for example as a witness, to further the cause of peace or for humanitarian reasons. In such cases an assessment of the risks posed to the UK and public by the individual would be made in conjunction with law enforcement and security agencies. Depending on that assessment appropriate measures would be taken to monitor the individual while here.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2005, Official Report, column 1747W, on EU travel bans, what estimate he has made of the cost of collecting information on those who may have entered the UK in breach of an EU travel ban; what travel bans are in operation from other bodies; whether individuals in breach of an EU travel ban have been (a) arrested and (b) deported in the UK; who has entered the UK since 1997 under international immunity but in breach of an EU travel ban; whether individuals subject to an EU travel ban are permitted to transit via the UK; what Government policy is on action to be taken when an individual is located in the UK in breach of an EU travel ban; and what representations he has received on visits to the UK by people subject to EU travel bans. (95334)

A person subject to an EU travel ban is excluded from the UK and details of all those individuals included on a travel ban are entered on the Home Office watch list. That watch list is used by staff overseas and at UK ports to identify those people who should not be admitted to the UK. A person who entered the UK by deception and so in breach of a travel ban would be treated as an illegal entrant and be subject to removal. We have no record of any individual who is subject to a travel ban being identified in the UK and being either arrested or deported.

The UK is only party to EU and UN travel bans and the enabling immigration legislation only allows the Secretary of State to designate EU or UN travel bans. Such designation has the effect of making individuals subject to such bans automatically excluded from the UK under section 8B of the Immigration Act 1971.

There is no international immunity from the effects of an EU travel ban. I can also confirm that individuals subject to an EU travel ban are not permitted to transit the UK.

The Home Office has not received any representations from people subject to EU travel bans. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received only one formal representation but does receive a number of informal, and not centrally recorded, representations from those who are subject to EU travel bans.