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Frontiers: Security

Volume 475: debated on Friday 16 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) 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; (168404)

(2) what account has been taken of the implications of co-operation with the Government of the Republic of Ireland for the functioning of an E-borders system around Great Britain; and what the likely effects are of such a system on the common travel area.

We continue to work closely with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on operational, policy and legislative issues, including on the implementation of the e-Borders programme which is a key part of the Government's plans for securing our borders.

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

There is provision in the e-Borders contract for the supplier to provide data on passengers travelling from the Republic of Ireland to the UK although no decision has been made on how it will be captured because of the nature of CTA.