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Looks good.

Bit surprised that coastguard doesn't seem to have an integral role.

Also it could be an opportunity to do something about the British Transport Police. Its Channel Tunnel role would be absorbed but I'm still left wondering on the rationale for the rest of it. Area constabularies include all manner of specialist sections, so what makes railways so different? In a TV documentary a little while ago, officers were driving miles all over the place for such things as drunks on station forecourts. A few yards away and it would have been a matter for the local plods. I was first sensitized to this topic a while ago when alighting late at night from the Heathrow Railair Coach. Enterprising taxis pulled in behind to get some custom and got nabbed by two BT police officers. Aside from the question of whether this was the worst crime ever, it got me wondering as to why there was a BTP.

And why are BTP responsible for some railed systems and not others such as Manchester trams and Tyne & Wear Metro?

Apart from aspects already in the report, some of BTP could for example become the airport/airfield patrol element of the Border Protection Service, the balance being dispersed variously between area constabularies

ID cards would help us distinguish between legal immigrants and illegal immigrants. Now DD has gone perhaps we can get real on this policy.

I am sorry to be so superficial, but Dominic Grieve REALLY doesn't look like a Home Secretary.

The illegal immigrants would have the better forgeries and wouldn't have their details used fraudulently against them when a careless courier lost half the nation's details - is this what you mean?

@SecurityCon: How would ID cards tell the difference between two first time entrants to the UK?

I weep at the British media. They haven't spotted that all Cameron is doing is what the EU has told him to do for our bits of the EU external frontier some x months ago. He's just jazzed it up a bit - given passport officers new uniforms for instance. Labour didn't bother doing as they were told quite so much.

AND Cameron has been outflanked today by Labour on his blue-green flank!

This looks like a good report.

I agree with Christina Speight: The real question is, when will we take the plunge and modernise our border controls by joining Schengen, giving British citizens, whether businessmen or holdaymakers the same freedom of movement other europeans enjoy and allowing scarce resources to be reallocated where they are most needed: immigration and international crime.

Knowing someone who is on the front line for immigration its obvious from what I'm told that the government has essentially given up on properly controlling the borders. There aren't enough immigration officers, the ones they have are badly paid, they're overworked to cover the gaps in staff cover. Many off sick with back/RSI injuries due to cheap desks and bad ergonomics on their posts for swiping thousands of passports, the facilitates for holding suspects are inadequate, its pretty easy for illegals to work the system due to various laws, BAA are reluctant to help as it would cost money and they really don't care about immigration, etc etc. I know that there are many people who shouldn't be here getting in every day, many scandelous stories that could be told but the official "secrets act" prevents that would just shatter the illusion of immigration being anything but a farce.

James G You don't agree with me at all!!!

We shouild never join Schengen which is a charter for illegal immigra nts to flood freely across Europe till they end up here (They all speak a bit of english, you see)

Schengen would mean that we would only police those arrival from OUTSIDE the EU whereas a large number of our problem immigrants arrive via the continent. The Irish agree with us here!

The fact is that Blair's lot effectively abolished all controls from the EU (almost like Schengen ) and the uncontrolled immigration which resulted has caused bitterness and chaos.

Does Cameron propose to stiffen ALL our border controls, or just on travel from outside the EU?

I agree with Goldie @ 15.43 that Dominic Grieve really doesn't 'look' like a Home Secretary, he looks more like a new junior master at a boy's school.

Christina I agree with your comment that a large number of our problem immigrants arrive via the continent, or in fact FROM some continental countries.

With all these different departments involved, I would hope that there will be BETTER INTERCOMMUNICATION between them all, than there is at the moment between some different departments such as the Prison Service and the Parole Dept:.

As someone else commented above it will be easy to forge ID cards, so I don't think that they will be much use for anything!

Christina Speight:

Sorry to have been unclear! I meant I agreed with you that much of the report is about preparing us for co operation with our european neighbours, notably on the external EU borders. Hardly surprising though given our physical proximity to these countries in a shrinking and globalising world!

I must admit that I am surprised at your opposition to Schengen. What are borders after all? A fairly recent phenomenum, borders are a means for the state to tightly control the movement of goods and people through its territory.

As a libertarian, I advocate the FREE movement of goods and people. If we are to have the disadvantages of EU membership, surely we can allow ourselves this advantage, and with Schengen be taking part in the completed common market, something the British people actually voted for in 1973 ! You talk of Ireland, but look at Norway, Switzerland or Iceland, countries that are not even members of the EU but do not oppose giving these freedoms to their citizens.

A crazy dream, it will never work! I hear you say. Well it does work: the other european countries, some of whom have much tougher immigration laws than us, have shown that it works. The sky hasn't fallen in ! There are plenty of immigrants here today, and the point is that once they get into the EU they quite easily find their way here, despite our borders with other EU countries. So surely it would be better to reallocate those resources to the external EU border to reduce immigration closer to its source, if your primary concern really is immigration.

I just think we need to stop opposing change for the sake of it and weigh up the advantages/disadvanteges of this in a more scientific way. Doubtless you can point out problems with every system, including Schengen, but if anything it is our 19th century borders in need of a rethink, not Schengen, which has been pretty successful and is aquiring new members. The report goes some way towards acknowledging this, but falls short of proposing real change.

Every time I queue up at airport customs and watch the Norwegians or the Germans walking straight through, I can't help thinking we Brits just like queueing up for the sake of it. And more fool us!

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