"We will never know how many people entered the country"
It beggars belief that a party dedicated to lowering immigration and tightening control of the nation's borders could preside over such a fiasco. It transpires that someone somewhere gave a green light for UK Border Agency staff not to carry out full checks on the passports of hundreds of thousands of people seeking entry into the UK. Home Secretary Theresa May said it wasn't her; Immigration Minister Damian Green said it wasn't him.
So it must either have been rogue Border Agency staff who assume the authority to waive the rules and wave through immigrants when the queues get a bit too long, or the Home Secretary is being economical with the actualité. Either way, she told the House of Commons yesterday: "As a result of these unauthorised actions, we will never know how many people entered the country who should have been prevented from doing so."
So 100,000s of potential terrorists, murderers, thieves and paedophiles saunter into the UK under a 'relaxed' border checking system, and it's not the fault of anyone in the Home Office? Call His Grace naive, but it does seem rather unlikely that Border Agency staff - however senior - would cease passport checks without at least informing/consulting the relevant minister. We are, after all, talking about national security on the approach to the Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. If some 'pilot scheme' for fewer checks was extended without authorisation, the question which must be asked is why there was a 'pilot scheme' to do this in the first place. Immigration queues may be an inconvenience for both immigration staff and the would-be immigrant, but you don't let people effortlessly wander in just to mitigate the wait.
The reality is that the UK lost control of its borders some years ago. We may not be part of the EU's 'borderless' Schengen Agreement, but all UK ports of entry equate the UK with the EU: if you have an EU passport, you're effectively British. No British government of whatever political hue is able to reduce immigration from EU member states, so if someone is illegally and fraudulently living in Italy or France, it's a short ride and a small step to Britain's welfare heaven.
Yesterday, Sir Andrew Green's e-petition urging a reduction in immigration hit the 100,000 mark. Whether or not it is granted parliamentary time is irrelevant: until we are once again a sovereign nation governed by patriots, we will continue to sink under waves of immigrants who will each bring their customs and cultures to enhance our traditions and benefit the national psyche.