Thursday, January 14, 2016

PRESS RELEASE: Government wrong about border security, says Durham academic

Government wrong about border security, says Durham academic

For immediate release – Thursday, 14 January 2016

-With picture-

*TV and radio broadcast facilities available*

A Durham University academic accused the government of attempting to mislead the public about border checks. In reply to a Parliamentary question from DUP MP Jim Shannon, the Immigration Minister James Brokenshire claimed the UK carries out ‘full checks on all arriving passengers in order to identify any criminal, security and immigration concerns’ in a written statement on Wednesday.
Professor Thom Brooks, a leading immigration law specialist at Durham University’s Law School, argues that the government’s reply is not correct. Professor Brooks said: ‘It is simply untrue that “full checks” are made on every person who arrives in the UK from another country to our airports’.

The UK is part of a Common Travel Area with the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man. While the Republic of Ireland conducts passport checks of passengers coming to Irish airports, Britain does not reciprocate with passport checks at its airports. Arriving passengers typically walk straight to baggage collection and the exit without passing through any border control checks on the ground.

Professor Brooks does not argue the Common Travel Area should end, but he does urge the Immigration Minister to set the record straight by correcting his inaccurate response on border security to Mr Shannon.

‘There is no good reason why the UK cannot conduct checks at all ports like the Irish’, said Brooks, who is an immigrant earning British citizenship in 2011. ‘This minor inconvenience for passengers could improve border security and make checks across the travel area more consistent’.



NB – Please note that Professor Brooks is a member of the Labour Party.


Professor Thom Brooks, Professor of Law and Government, in Durham Law School, Durham University, is available for comment on Thursday, January 14, and Friday, January 15, 2015, or

Alternatively please contact Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075;

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A high resolution headshot of Professor Thom Brooks is available on request from Durham University Marketing and Communications Office on +44 (0)191 334 6075;

Further reading

Correspondence between Jim Shannon MP (DUP) and James Brokenshire MP (Tory) Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration), ‘Criminal Records: EU Nationals’, HC Deb, 13 January 2016, cW -

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