• Britain’s Border Force is not equipped to quickly, accurately and securely monitor passengers in and out of Britain. After Brexit it will become even more important for Britain’s borders to be secure.
• The Warning Index and Semaphore systems the Border Force uses are years out of date, and at times 7.5% of high risk flights have not been properly screened, which if representative of the whole year would translate into over four thousand high-risk flights not being met. This has allowed known terrorists to leave the country without being detained properly.
• The Border Force operates a slow service at peak times: during the summer of 2016, an average of three out of four Heathrow Terminals every month failed their target wait times for non-EEA passengers through passport control.
• After sovereignty, polls have found control of the UK’s borders to be the second most important driver of voting for Brexit, and many voters desired sovereignty itself in order to control who comes in and out of the country.
• Public trust in the UK immigration system, and its key enforcer, the UK Border Force, is crucial in order for the UK to have a sensible immigration policy.
• The Border Force is only collecting data from the Advanced Passenger Information System for 86% of passengers, making a mockery of “exporting the border” claims.
• Some past collaborations with the private sector, like the Raytheon project, have turned out badly, but these involved heavy governmental micromanagement; decentralised private companies like AirBnb prove that the private sector can create high trust, heavily-vetted systems.
• The government must thoroughly modernise the force and deliver a new, realtime database and biometric scanning system, collaborating with the private sector to deliver a technological solution and paying for results, not trying to build its own system from the ground up.
Read the full report here.