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Ferry passport checks dismissed by minister

Published 24/11/2011

The Immigration Minister has refused a call for passport controls to be set up at Scottish ports where ferries from Northern Ireland dock.

Damian Green was responding to a Labour MP’s claim that ministers are ignoring a “massive loophole” in the UK's border security.

Russell Brown (Dumfries and Galloway) said Government cuts had removed UK Border Agency officers from the Stranraer and Cairnryan ferry ports in his constituency — meaning illegal immigrants could simply walk off a ferry and in to Great Britain.

But Immigration Minister Damian Green said that passport controls would not be appropriate at the ports.

Mr Green said: “The ferry links between Northern Ireland and Scotland are domestic UK services.

“I'm sure you recognise it would be wholly inappropriate to introduce passport controls at domestic UK ports. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and people within the UK are not subject to border controls and nor should they be.”

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