Border security will always be a priority for Dover. Representing the border officials who live and work here, I know that their great work has been let down in the past by the previous Government's handling of the Agency. Today I urged the Home Secretary to learn from past mistakes, and she took the opportunity to praise the management of the busy weekend at Calais by Border officials.
A couple of months ago, I toured the border controls at Dover. I would like to make the Home Secretary and the excellent Immigration Minister aware of the following: first, the problems at Calais are the result not of budget cuts but of coaches queuing back on to the motorway, causing the police to put pressure on the UKBA to hurry people through; secondly, the previous Government also did nothing about eye scanners that did not work properly; and, thirdly the previous Government supplied laptops that did not work properly and took too long to load up. While she is addressing the problems of the past, will she take an interest in those things too?
My hon. Friend, given his constituency, takes a particular interest in border matters. He is assiduous in dealing with these issues, in liaising with those at Dover port responsible for such matters and in taking up any issues with Ministers. He raised several matters. I am happy to say that despite this weekend being the busiest weekend for returning school coach parties—the thoughts of the House must be with those affected by the terrible school coach accident in France—the UKBA, by working with the French authorities and putting in place mitigating measures, achieved a greater throughput than was achieved previously. There were also fewer problems with coaches on the motorway.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
Many of my appearances in the House of Commons are now on Youtube. Please click the link to watch the footage.
Please email me at email@example.com or ring my office on 01304 379669 if you need to get in touch.