Sunday 9 October 2016

Britain now has the power to stop EUROSTAR


UK has been passed a new law that will be able to stop EUROSTAR trains from Brussels to London, for illegal immigration crackdown.

Free movement rules between Belgium and France enabled passengers on the Eurostar not to go through passport control at Lille therefore allowing them to travel to London unfettered.

At least 300 people a year are thought to have been able to use the access route.

Now the Government has agreed with France and Belgium that it can access the trains known as "control zones" where officers from the UK can now board to enforce the law.

The new treaty which came into force last Saturday and which was orginally created three years ago, also allows immigration officials to deport those suspected of entering Britain illegally by train using the Fixed Channel Link.

It gives them the ability to board the Eurostar carriages departing from Brussels-South travelling via France as well as allow them to conduct work in the "securised safety zone" of the station.

It was presented to the Parliament by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs by Command of The Queen.

The British Parliament pushed through the treaty on 1 October 2016

The new law makes it mandatory for the Belgian Government to take back illegal immigrants.

The Treaty Series 32 states: "If, during the course of immigration controls, the United Kingdom refuses admission to a person whose travel destination is stated to be within the United Kingdom the authorities of Belgium may not refuse to readmit that person.

"The authorities of Belgium shall in this case immediately receive from the British authorities a written notification of this refusal including the reason for refusal and the identity of the person in question.

"If, during the course of immigration controls, a person whose travel destination is stated to be within the United Kingdom refuses to submit to these immigration controls, Belgium may not refuse to readmit such person.

"Where a person who on Belgian territory boarded an international train using the Fixed Link and has arrived in the United Kingdom is refused entry, having been found to have avoided United Kingdom immigration controls on Belgian territory by stating that their final destination is intra-Schengen, the authorities of Belgium may not refuse to accept such a person for re-admittance.

"United Kingdom immigration authorities shall notify the competent Belgian authorities within 5 days of such an arrival in the United Kingdom and provide supporting evidence that the passenger started his journey on Belgian territory along with copies of identity documents where available."

The law also says Belgian and British authorities will cooperate closely, in particular by sharing information on a mutual basis, with a view to limiting illegal migration between the two States.

It adds: "The officers of the United Kingdom are authorised to perform immigration controls in the control zone on persons travelling on stopping trains.

"Immigration controls performed by the United Kingdom are only permitted on passengers whose travel destination is stated to be within the United Kingdom."

The clampdown comes more than a year after a foiled gun attack on a high-speed train travelling from Amsterdam to Paris.

Last year transport and interior ministers from nine European countries met in Paris to discuss terror and migration on inter connecting European trains.

At the time French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve called for "concrete proposals" to strengthen security on the railway network.

He said: "We must examine whether we can set up a scheme that allows for more systematic checks … on public transport in a more co-ordinated way."



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