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Freedom of movement – “secure beneath the watching eyes”

Anyone worried by Natalie’s posting below should be aware that you ain’t seen nuttin’ yet. Tom Griffin of The Green Ribbon has obtained a full listing of the information it is intended to collect (and distribute among various authorities) concerning those buying tickets to move from any one of Britain, the Irish Republic, and Northern Ireland to any of the others.

There has been a common travel area since St Patrick, and this was formalised in the 20th century when the countries of Britain and Ireland came incompletely apart. Now it seems both governments are in effect conspiring to introduce internal passports and replace a common travel area with a common surveillance area.

[hat-tip: spyblog]

3 comments to Freedom of movement – “secure beneath the watching eyes”

  • Nick M

    And all this is to prevent stuff like terrorism, right?

    So, we do it now after the “Troubles” have largely ended?

    Yeah, right.

  • guy herbert

    The excuse is that unless our e-Borders with Ireland are as e as our borders with everywhere else, then illegal immigrants and Islamist fanatics will first go to Ireland and then sneak in to the British mainland. “Paranoiac fantasy” is probably not strong enough for this ludicrous argument. But then, the current generation of our political masters live entirely behind behind fortifications and screening procedures, and get their information about the world from alarming briefings from other regulatory fetishists.

    Readers might wish to suggest what the e in e-Borders really stands for. Other than eejit.

  • anonymous

    Back in the days when the British immigration authorities would check your passport on leaving Britain as well as arriving, Australian backpackers and the like always understood that the way to leave the UK without either getting inconvenient questions from a British official or an exit stamp with an inconvenient date in it in your passport that could cause problems later was to get a ferry to Ireland and fly out of Dublin. The British actually stopped looking at and stamping passports of people exiting a few years back, so this is less of an issue these days. Similarly, if you had (say) overstayed a visa in the past and wanted to return to the UK, then going via Dublin was a possibility there, too. In terms of anything serious, these things didn’t work, as the Irish were on the lookout for criminals and terrorists to about the same extent as were the British.

    So, yes, Ireland has always been a bit of a leak to the British immigration system. I have generally considered this a good thing.