DESPITE the fact that he is vehemently in favour of Britain leaving Europe, Under Secretary for Human Rights, Dominic Raab MP, himself the son of a Czech refugee has helped to muddy the waters by saying that in the event of a Brexit vote it is likely that Britons would need to obtain visas to travel to France, Germany and other EU members.
Whilst this may be a chore for British travellers, he seems to believe that there would be a significant strengthening of security at British borders where foreign passport holders would be required to supply their personal information prior to entry to the UK.
Regardless of whether Britain stays or leaves, there is no obvious reason why it shouldn’t follow the example of Spain which although a member of Schengen, demands that anyone travelling to Spain from the UK supplies basic information to the airline with which it is travelling. If this was applied to incomers to the UK and if those departing had to go through a proper immigration check then security would be automatically upgraded.
Mr Raab referred to free movement within the EU in an interview on the BBC Politics Show, but seemed to overlook the fact that every person entering the UK regardless of whether they are EU passport holders is subject to a check by either an immigration officer or a machine.
His argument was that it is very difficult to deny entry to an EU citizen unless they present a serious and credible threat but did not comment on the fact that many of the terrorists who have been caught across Europe are home-grown, and therefore their movements are almost irrelevant or have come from non-EU countries and their passports and stories would be checked upon arrival in the UK.
Perhaps it would also be appropriate to ensure that only non-Muslim immigration officers are allowed to check Muslim visitors to the UK in case of possible partiality, although that may well put an unacceptable additional burden upon the immigration service.