Air and ferry passengers travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Britain are to face routine passport checks under new laws. All EU citizens will have to show their passport or ID card on arrival at airports and ferry terminals from 2014.
Whilst in Ireland
Minister [Dermot] Ahern said: “We are currently developing a new Irish Border Information System (IBIS). This will operate on the basis that passenger information collected by carriers prior to departure will be sent to an Irish Border Operations Centre (I-BOC) where it will be screened against immigration, Garda, customs and other watch-lists. “In the event that a match occurs the relevant agency concerned would be alerted immediately, facilitating time to take appropriate measures to monitor, intercept, question, stop or arrest the individual concerned. “The Government has approved the development of the first phase of the system and I expect the roll out of the system will commence during 2010,” he added.
I think that’s what they meant by strengthening the Common Travel Area.. Adds See also Guardian report.
From a quick scan of the Explanatory Notes, this would appear to relate to the relevant section of the UK Bill.
Common Travel Area
223. Clause 46 enables routine immigration control, in particular the power to examine, to be applied to those entering, or who have entered, the UK from the CTA and to those leaving the UK for the CTA. At present such journeys are not subject to routine immigration control. The proposal does not in itself raise any ECHR issues. Where a person is examined any subsequent decision to refuse that person leave to enter the UK, or the use of any detention, search, seizure or arrest power, would have to be in accordance with the ECHR, as with the exercise of such powers when examining a person entering the UK from outside the CTA.
Clause 46: Common Travel Area
171. Subsection (1) of this clause amends section 1(3) of the IA 1971 by deleting the provision that a person arriving in or departing from the UK from or to another part of the CTA shall not be subject to control. This amendment will enable the routine control of all persons arriving in or departing from the UK via the CTA by aircraft or ship.
172. The clause does not affect the position that persons arriving from the CTA shall not require leave to enter the UK, unless they fall within one or more of the existing exceptions in section 9(4) of, or Schedule 4 to, the IA 1971, or in an order made under section 9(2) and (6) of that Act.
173. Subsection (2) amends the definition in section 11(2) of the IA 1971 of references in that Act to disembarking or embarking in the UK. At present disembarking or embarking from or to a place in the CTA is not included in such references. The amendment made by subsection (2) provides for journeys from or to a place in the CTA other than a place in the UK to be included in such references.
174. The effect is that the provisions of section 3(7) and paragraphs 3, 5 and 26 of Schedule 2 to the IA 1971, and the powers which are attendant to these provisions, and the related offences in sections 24(1)(g), 26(1)(e) and 27 of the IA 1971 will apply in the case of embarkation in the UK for a journey to a place in the CTA other than a place in the UK.
175. Similarly, paragraphs 5, 16(3) and (4), and 26 and 27(1) of Schedule 2 to the IA 1971, and the powers which are attendant to these provisions, and the related offences in sections 26(1)(e) and 27 of the IA 1971 will apply in the case of disembarkation in the UK after a journey from a place in the CTA other than a place in the UK.
And the Clause itself as contained in the Bill.
46 Common Travel Area
(1) In section 1(3) of the Immigration Act 1971 (c. 77) (general principles: the common travel area), for the words from the beginning to a person substitute A person who arrives in the United Kingdom on a local journey from any of the Islands or the Republic of Ireland shall not.
(2) In section 11(2) of that Act (meaning of disembark and embark), in paragraphs (a) and (b), omit or elsewhere in the common travel area.
For clarity here’s the relevant section [to (1)] of the Immigration Act 1971 [new link]
(3)Arrival in and departure from the United Kingdom on a local journey from or to any of the Islands (that is to say, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) or the Republic of Ireland shall not be subject to control under this Act, nor shall a person require leave to enter the United Kingdom on so arriving, except in so far as any of those places is for any purpose excluded from this subsection under the powers conferred by this Act; and in this Act the United Kingdom and those places, or such of them as are not so excluded, are collectively referred to as the common travel area.
And the relevant section [to (2) above]
(2)In this Act disembark means disembark from a ship or aircraft, and embark means embark in a ship or aircraft; and, except in subsection (1) above,
(a)references to disembarking in the United Kingdom do not apply to disembarking after a local journey from a place in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the common travel area; and
(b)references to embarking in the United Kingdom do not apply to embarking for a local journey to a place in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the common travel area.
Update From the Guardian report
A British proposal to introduce passport checks for those who fly from Belfast to the rest of the UK was dropped after strong opposition from Conservatives and Ulster Unionists. The imposition of border controls will however also apply to those who travel between Britain and the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.