Since the phasing out of embarkation controls in 1994 no Government have ever been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally or who have overstayed their leave to remain. By its very nature it is impossible to quantify accurately and that remains the case.
As part of the Government’s 10-point plan for delivery, by 2010 over 95 per cent. of non-EEA foreign nationals will be counted in and out of the country, rising to 100 per cent. by 2014. This is part of a sweeping programme of border protection which also includes the global roll-out of fingerprint visas, watch-list checks for all travellers before they arrive or depart from the UK and ID cards for foreign nationals.