A total of 528,000 long-term migrants entered the UK in 2009, according to the most recent figures from the international passenger survey. Of these, 437,000 were non-UK nationals. IPS figures do not include asylum seekers, those who have arrived from Northern Ireland, and those who change their original intentions and therefore alter their length of stay. Final detailed figures for 2009 will be published on
I understand that my hon. Friend has recently been to Heathrow to see our front-line border controls in action. Will he give the House his assessment of the quality of our current systems to detect illegal entry into the UK at the first port of call?
We do have a comprehensive border protection framework, provided not just by the UK Border Agency but by the police and other agencies. The whole House will recognise that there will be an increase in passenger journeys and freight volume, and in the use of ever more sophisticated technologies by those who have malicious intent of either illegal immigration or, even worse, terrorism. That is one reason why we are setting up a new border police command within the new national crime agency, which will enhance our existing capacity to protect our borders.
I thank the Minister for that straightforward answer. On
I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on being appointed to my old job by the Leader of the Opposition. I did it for four and a half years and I can say with complete sincerity that I hope he does it for even longer.
Yes is the answer to the very serious question that the hon. Gentleman asks. He has been intimately involved in this subject for some years, so he will be pleased to know that the e-Borders system will continue, I hope in an improved way, under our new arrangements, and that other areas of capital spending such as the integrated casework project will also continue so that we use technology and the experience of our border officers to keep our borders safe.