As MP for Dover – the Gateway to England – the issue of border security is at the forefront of all our hearts and minds.
The news that senior UK Border Force officials, without authorisation, ordered the regular relaxation of border checks has caused real concern. I spoke in today's Opposition Day debate on this subject to find out what was going on, and to urge members of the House to recognise the work that the frontline staff do in Dover.
Here are some excerpts from my points:
I am a representative of Dover. This issue is a key concern to my constituents, as is Brodie Clark's statement that such controls had been relaxed since about 2008-09. Who authorised that relaxation? We need more controls for people from outside the European Union. The figures reported by the labour market survey show a total increase of 966,000 in employment between quarter 1 of 2004 and quarter 3 of 2010—that is, 966,000 people not born in the UK. UK-born employment fell by 334,000, while foreign-born UK employment rose by 1.297 million. Of those, 530,000 were born in the EU8 countries. The essential point is that the majority—800,000—were born outside those countries. We see immigration as somehow an EU problem, but there is a bigger problem with people born outside those areas—people for whom we can take controls. I hope that in time we will not only do that, but do more to make the Home Office fit for purpose, after the mess of the past 13 years.
The full debate can be read here
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or ring my office on 01304 379669 if you need to get in touch.