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Border Security

Volume 468: debated on Monday 26 November 2007

18. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the potential contribution of the e-borders scheme to the security of the UK’s borders. (167498)

The e-borders programme is a key component of our wider strategy to strengthen and modernise our border control and will mean that we will be able to count people in and out of the country. It sits as part of our programme to introduce biometric visas, and a visa waiver programme to provide the UK with a new and robust offshore border control designed to complement the UK counter-terrorism strategy.

In developing e-borders, we have undertaken a thorough assessment of the requirements of the core agencies, including the Border and Immigration Agency, UKvisas, HM Revenue and Customs, the police service and the security and intelligence agencies.

E-borders is already being successfully tested and trialled through an operational prototype. Since November 2004, Project Semaphore has generated nearly 17,000 alerts and over 1,300 arrests.