Planes, trains and automobiles: Lords debates UK Border Agency

19 July 2012

Members of the Lords will examine the role and performance of the UK Border Agency today (Thursday 19 July)

Lord Avebury (Liberal Democrat), who tabled the debate and will speak first, said: 'The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is in meltdown and it is a situation that is steadily getting worse, as illustrated by the increasing number of successful appeals against their decisions on applications for leave to enter or remain in the UK.

'Thousands of cases supposed to be cleared up by July 2011 are still in limbo, adults and children are still being detained for months unnecessarily in awful conditions and torture victims are being failed by the rules which are supposed to protect them.

'The Chief Inspector has reported adversely this year on a number of issues, including the suspension of border security checks and ordinary travellers have had a taste of the UKBA’s inefficiency in the long queues that have built up at London’s airports.

'It is not only the banks which need fundamental changes. The UKBA should be abolished and its functions discharged by the Home Office, so that people can see where the responsibility lies.'

Other members expected to speak include

  • Lord Alderdice (Liberal Democrat), chairman of the World Federation of Scientists' Permanent Monitoring Panel on Motivation for Terrorism
  • Lord Rosser (Labour), opposition spokesperson for the Home Office
  • Lord Bradshaw (Liberal Democrat), former party spokesperson for Transport
  • Lord Dholakia (Liberal Democrat), former member of the Commission for Racial Equality
  • Lord Judd (Labour), member of the British Council, Royal Institute for International Affairs.

Lord Ramsbotham (Crossbench), Lord Greaves (Liberal Democrat), Baroness Bakewell(Labour),  Baroness Williams of Crosby (Liberal Democrat) and Lord Marlesford (Conservative) are also expected to take part in the debate.

Lord Henley (Conservative) will respond on behalf of the government.

Further information

Image: PA

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