On the back of his latest paper, "The Border after Brexit: How technology can secure Britain’s borders", Sam Bowman wrote for City AM:
When we leave the EU, we may bring in work permits or some other way of controlling immigration from Europe. The home secretary confirmed that this was on the table this weekend.
To do this, however, we will need to overhaul our Border Force. In a new report released this week, I outline the deep problems that face the Border Force in carrying out its current duties, which Brexit will only add to.
The Force is under-equipped and reliant on outdated technology to do a job that is increasingly demanding, as passenger flows rise and the danger of terrorist attacks continues. It simply does not have the tools it needs to do its job, and nobody seems willing to take responsibility for fixing that.
Passport control is the most visible of the Border Force’s roles, and every traveller dreads a slow queue after a long-haul flight. Even in this role, the Force is not performing well.
We need a modern, integrated system based on biometric technology that allows for fast, accurate and easy identification of travellers as they enter and exit the country. We don’t need to build this ourselves – the government would be better off buying the technology from the private sector.
The Border Force has been failed by Whitehall, and cannot do its job properly. Someone needs to grasp the nettle and take responsibility for giving it the tools it needs.