Immigration Controls

Home Department written question – answered on 7th July 2008.

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Photo of Quentin Davies Quentin Davies Labour, Grantham and Stamford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to create a dedicated EU passports channel at the UK border and immigration control points in the (a) Gare du Midi, Brussels and (b) Gare du Nord, Paris; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (West Midlands), Minister of State (Home Office) (Borders and Immigration), Minister of State (HM Treasury) (also in the Home Office)

The UK Border Agency currently operates four control points at the Eurostar terminal at Brussels Gare du Midi and six control points at the terminal at Paris Gare du Nord. In view of increasing passenger numbers the Gare du Nord is currently being redeveloped to provide eight control points.

The efficiency of passenger clearance at the UK border is kept under review, and changes are made where they are considered to benefit passenger throughput, without having an adverse impact upon border security. The majority of passengers travelling to the UK on Eurostar services from Brussels and Paris are nationals of EU countries and all passengers, including those who are non-EU nationals, can be dealt with quickly without any segregation. There is consequently no dedicated EU channel at either station and currently no plan to introduce such a channel.

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