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Border Force

Volume 712: debated on Monday 25 April 2022

Border Force officers work tirelessly, not just to secure our borders but on all sorts of security work to safeguard our borders, and to intercept illicit and counterfeit goods at airports and at sea. That work covers more than 140 major sea and airports across the UK. I have commissioned an independent review of Border Force to identify ways in which its operation can be improved.

My Ynys Môn constituents are concerned about illegal immigration. Will my right hon. Friend thank Border Force—its staff in Holyhead have increased from 20 to 60—for its work? Can she reassure people across Anglesey that the Government remain committed to giving refuge to all those who need it, while acting compassionately and swiftly to remove those who do not?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. I, too, have seen the work under way and what the teams do at Holyhead, which is incredible on many fronts; there is not only passenger work, but commercial work. She is right to highlight the issue of illegal migration and the work that Border Force does on that. The House has discussed some of that today. Holyhead is the second busiest port in the UK, and as a result of Brexit the team has expanded—she will know that; she has met them, as have I—from 20 to 60, meaning more skilled local jobs for her constituents.

Will my right hon. Friend assure me that as the Government rightly help those most in need from Ukraine, they will continue to make the security of the British public a priority through the use of biometrics and other security checks for refugees entering the United Kingdom?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. First and foremost, we have security checks for very good reasons to do with the domestic safety of our homeland. At the same time, work is under way, as he will be aware, on the digitalisation of our borders, which is part of the post-Brexit global Britain work that is taking place. In fact, all Ministers from not just the Home Office but the Cabinet Office are heavily involved in that work.