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Visas and Exclusion Orders: Ireland

Volume 504: debated on Friday 29 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the UK's list of persons who (a) have been refused a visa for admission into the UK and (b) are to be denied travel to the UK is automatically shared with the border agency authorities of the Irish Republic as part of the Common Travel Area regime; and if he will make a statement. (309981)

[holding answer 11 January 2010]: The UK Border Agency holds a watchlist of adverse information drawn from a variety of sources, including the police, SOCA and other Government Departments. The system is used by UK Border Agency staff for the purposes of national security and the detection and prevention of crime. Refusal of entry may be based on information from any of these sources.

The UK and Ireland undertake a range of data sharing activity to underpin the security of the Common Travel Area, backed up by extensive operational co-operation. This includes sharing data from the UK immigration watchlist. We have a longstanding policy not to disclose exactly what information is shared.

Data sharing with the Irish Government remains a key area for increased co-operation, as recognised in the “Strengthening The Common Travel Area” public consultation and subsequent response.