20. What steps she is taking to secure the UK’s borders. (903705)
Our borders are significantly more secure than they were in 2010. This Government have created Border Force as a separate command, extended coverage of exit checks and put in place a rigorous operating mandate requiring 100% passenger checks at primary controls. We have also established the border policing command as part of the National Crime Agency to tackle organised crime at the border.
The Minister will be aware that the common border area facilitates passport-free travel with the Republic of Ireland, but what steps has he taken to improve the quality of passenger lists being handed over by Irish airports and Irish airlines to assist the police in monitoring the border?
I can tell my hon. Friend that there is excellent co-operation between the UK and the Republic of Ireland to prevent abuse of the common travel area by strengthening the external border. The joint UK-Ireland programme of work focuses on aligned visa policy and processes, investment in border procedures, increased data sharing and unified passenger data systems to achieve the end results my hon. Friend is calling for.