UK Borders: Surveillance - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:00 pm on 18th December 2017.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 3:00 pm, 18th December 2017

I congratulate the Government on the announcement that they are going to double the number of cutters around our coast from two to four. I think that means that we will have one cutter for every 3,000 miles of coastline if they all operate at the same time—rather fewer than the Dutch have for a far shorter coastline. Has the Minister read the Public Accounts Committee’s report of two weeks ago that points out that there are 21 departments and agencies in Whitehall concerned with the management of borders, not one of which is in overall control? Does she know of the report issued last March by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders, which pointed out that nearly half the small ports on our east coast had not been visited by any member of Border Force in the preceding 15 months? The leave campaign talked about taking back control of Britain’s borders. Is it not the case that we do not have effective control of British borders at present and that perhaps we ought to consider putting more effort into that?