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E-border plan slated by MEP

PUBLISHED: 11:21 03 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:22 12 August 2010

PLANS to collect the movements of every person crossing the UK border have been slammed as impractical and intrusive by an MEP. Syed Kamall, London Member of the European Parliament, spoke against the Government s e-Borders scheme, that will see the co

PLANS to collect the movements of every person crossing the UK border have been slammed as "impractical and intrusive" by an MEP.

Syed Kamall, London Member of the European Parliament, spoke against the Government's e-Borders scheme, that will see the computerised records of 250 million movements to and from the UK kept for 10 years.

Information will be gathered on all travellers, passengers and crew entering or leaving the country by air, sea or rail. Its aim is to alert the authorities to potential risks such as terrorist suspects.

Mr Kamall said: "This is impractical, intrusive and could lead to chaos at our ports and international rail stations.

"It seems the Government's answer to every problem these days is to create another database.

"Practical measures should include setting reasonable limits on immigration, manning all checkpoints and turning people without the right papers and whose lives are not in danger back at the border.

"We are already the most watched nation in the world with one CCTV camera for every dozen citizens. This is another step towards Big Brother Britain."

The UK Border Agency is responsible for delivering the e-Borders programme, backed by the police and HM Revenue and Customs.

By December 2009 it will be screening 60 per cent of all passenger movements. So far it has screened 94 million passenger movements resulting in over 3,400 arrests.

A spokesman for the Home Office said: "E-borders keeps out and monitors individuals who could cause harm to the UK and makes legitimate travel easier.

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