“put it on a formal basis analogous to the Schengen agreement..”

The Belfast Telegraph report on the House of Lords debate noted by Gonzo yesterday ends with the Conservative claim that “the [UK] Government’s plans were unclear” – those plans are here btw. But that ‘unclearness’ probably has much to do with the absence of a public conversation about what the Republic of Ireland’s government plans to do. Although.. the Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan, has just unveiled a new fingerprint system which “will allow gardaí to electronically capture and store the fingerprints of all non-EU nationals and to take such prints at ports and airports.”…It’s also worth noting that the interesting paragraph from the House of Lords debate I pointed to in the comments zone here is attributed to Lord Trimble in Frank Millar’s Irish Times report [subs req] and not Lord West as Hansard suggests.

From the Irish Times

Lord Trimble had earlier asked Lord West if, in their discussions, the Irish Government had pointed out that British citizens comprised the largest group of foreign nationals in the Republic.

Lord Trimble said that they, together with hundreds of thousands “if not millions” of Irish passport holders living in Britain, were accustomed to travelling back and forth between the two states “without any formalities ever since the creation of a separatist Irish State”.

Anticipating the “considerable inconvenience” to them likely to result from e-borders, Lord Trimble asked: “Would it not be much better to take the existing informal common travel area and put it on a formal basis analogous to the Schengen agreement that applies elsewhere in Europe?”

He added: “This would solve the problems that arise in practice and relieve the difficulties experienced by the Home Office, which seems to be intellectually challenged by the idea of a land frontier.”

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  • mnob

    You’ve got to love where this government is at, at the minute.

    One populist crackpot plan after another – this time its adding more false security to our borders. (someone tell me how tracking British citizens ex UK travel helps security ?)

    One of the more recent ones was the deportation of non national prisoners to their ‘home’ country. More than 60% of those concerned were found to be Irish citizens who had lived in GB & NI most of their lives and so were ineligle for ‘repatriation’ and the rest were from countries who would simply cart their British prisoners back to blighty resulting in – yes youve guessed it an increase in the prison population !

  • Dread Cthulhu

    mnob: “One populist crackpot plan after another – this time its adding more false security to our borders. (someone tell me how tracking British citizens ex UK travel helps security ?) ”

    In most cases, it doesn’t. Now, does that make it paranoia, control freakery or something else?

    Other things can be gleaned from patterns developed from transportation information, although these are not necessarily 100% accurate. Case in point, my father worked in naval engineering and made a series of short duration trips to Naples — no luggage beyond a grip, over-night or two days at most. After the second trip, the computers spit him out as a potential drug courier, based on a profile.

    mnob: “One of the more recent ones was the deportation of non national prisoners to their ‘home’ country. More than 60% of those concerned were found to be Irish citizens who had lived in GB & NI most of their lives and so were ineligle for ‘repatriation’ and the rest were from countries who would simply cart their British prisoners back to blighty resulting in – yes youve guessed it an increase in the prison population ! ”

    Do not attribute to malice what is adequately explained by incompetence. In a bureaucracy, the “peter principle” is fully in play, and no fief wants to share anything, even information, with the other children.

    Hell, look on the bright side — you could have a situation like Gitmo — some of the prisoners are suing to stay, rather than be repatriated — their adopted countries don’t want them and they don’t want their homelands.