Belfast Telegraph

U-turn on 'British only' Border Force Northern Ireland jobs

By Jonathan Bell

Jobs for the UK's Border Force agency are to be re-advertised with a requirement only British passport holders can apply dropped.

The Home Office apologised saying the initial requirement for candidates to have a "full and valid" British passport was "incorrect".

"It should instead have read ‘a full and valid passport’," a Home Office spokeswoman told the Belfast Telegraph.

"We apologise for this error and are now in the process of correcting it."

The recruitment campaign for over 1,000 posts across the UK has been stopped so the wording can be corrected and re-advertised. Around 20 posts were based in Northern Ireland.

Those that have already begun the application process have been informed they will be able to complete the process when the jobs are re-advertised.

"This is to ensure that no eligible candidates are disadvantaged," the Home Office said.

"The new adverts will be open for a full two week period to ensure that all eligible candidates have adequate opportunity to make an application."

The move comes after The Irish News first revealed the bar on anyone not holding a British passport at the beginning of the week.

The Equality Commission intervened contacting the government agency over concerns Northern Ireland-born people - who can hold British and Irish passports - could be discriminated against.

SDLP MLA and the party's Brexit Spokeswoman Claire Hanna said: "The SDLP will not stand for any suggestion of a job criteria that is ‘British only need apply'.

"This ‘border farce’ is yet another example of the UK simply not understanding or caring enough about the different and specific impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland, and an illustration of the blunt and destructive way in which it forces issues of identity and allegiance into our everyday lives."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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