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UK Border Agency: Southampton

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much her Department spent on the visit of the Minister of State for Immigration and the media to UK Border Agency operations off the coast of Southampton in the week commencing 7 July 2008; and from which budget this expenditure was met; (220112)

(2) what the purpose was of the border operations off the coast of Southampton in the week commencing 7 July 2008.

As Borders and Immigration Minister I spend as much time as possible listening to front line staff about reform to the UK Border Agency.

On 8 July 2008, I visited the Maritime Forces in Southampton to listen and learn from UKBA officers in a routine patrol of a cutter. I met with UK Border Agency staff to discuss their local operations as part of the UK Border Agency’s new combined force at the border. Four representatives from the media were present to capture and provide information to the public on the UK Border Agency’s activity at the border.

The costs to the Home Office were negligible, comprising travel and subsistence for myself and three officials as well as light refreshments which were provided for myself and members of the press.