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Frontiers: Security

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions her Department has had with the Irish government on the introduction of the e-borders system in Great Britain; and what the outcome of those discussions was. (168405)

As outlined in our ‘Securing the UK Border’ strategy, March 2007, we are reviewing the rules and operation of the common travel area to explore how border security can be strengthened. The results of that review will be announced in due course.

The e-Borders contract includes provision for the supply of data on passengers and crew travelling by air and sea between the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

The governments of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland continue to work closely together at every level and keep each other informed of operational, policy and legislative issues, including the implementation of the e-Borders programme, which is a key part of the Government's plans for securing our borders.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she first informed the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland of plans to introduce an e-borders system. (168413)

The concept of e-Borders, in the context of proposals to obtain passenger and crew data in from carriers for screening by the border agencies in advance of travel, was first articulated in the Government's White Paper ‘Secure Borders, Safe Haven’ (CM 5387) published in February 2002.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has made to the Irish government on adopting an e-borders system compatible with the UK system. (168414)

We continue to work closely with the Government of the Republic of Ireland at ministerial and official level on the implementation of the e-Borders programme. Discussions are ongoing at all levels on sharing best practices and procedures to enable sufficiently compatible systems.