Belfast Border Force jobs postponed due to 'unforeseen circumstances'
Jobs for Border Force officers in Northern Ireland have been put on hold, according to a Civil Service email leaked to the Belfast Telegraph.
Applicants for roles within the Belfast area were expected to be interviewed in two weeks' time, from October 22 to 24.
However, an email was sent this week to shortlisted candidates who had already applied online to inform them the interviews had been pulled because of a change in "recruitment strategy due to unforeseen circumstances".
It read: "It is with regret that we must inform you that we are no longer able to conduct interviews for roles within Belfast, as a result of changes to the Border Force recruitment strategy due to unforeseen circumstances.
"We understand that this will be disappointing news, and we would like to assure you that if and when the situation changes, we will be in touch with you promptly."
The Border Force is a law enforcement command within the Home Office.
Its role is to secure the UK's border by carrying out immigration and customs controls for people and goods entering the country.
A Home Office spokesperson said: "We remain committed to recruiting up to 1,000 new staff to help maintain security and support flows at air, land and sea ports across the country.
"The Border Force has made changes to its current interview schedule, which has caused the postponement of some assessment centres, including in Belfast.
"These will be rescheduled in due course.
"The Border Force has already recruited 900 new officers in 2018/19, including a new readiness taskforce of around 300 officers.
"This multi-disciplinary team is available to deploy across the UK at short notice to deal with emerging issues and peaks in demand.
"We have received funding for up to an additional 1,000 staff to cover border security and operations."
South Belfast MLA Claire Hanna, who was formerly the SDLP's Brexit spokesperson, has been a passionate opponent of leaving the European Union and consistently critical of how successive Conservative governments have handled the matter.
She said: "The UK Government have been posturing about leaving the EU 'come what may' in 21 days.
"We have been told about controlling our borders, then (we were) promised no border and then (we were) presented with a plan for two borders.
"The (the Government) are a mess."