UK loophole allows illegal entry of passengers
United Kingdom, 9th December: In what is being termed as a harrowing security loophole, thousands get entry into the UK without any checking of their passports.
This is leaving the UK vulnerable to the threat of terrorism and undocumented immigration.
Lille loophole--As per the reports, several undocumented immigrants might be sneaking into the UK on the Eurostar, thanks to the ruling named the Lille loophole that does not require them to get their passports checked. The Lille loophole is the result of the rules allowing free movement between France and Belgium.
The ruling enables travelers to move from Brussels to the Eurostar destination, namely Lille, without undergoing UK passport checks and then stay onboard to London. That’s because both Lille and Brussels are in the Schengen area.
Lille loophole allows passengers to reach London without any passport checks thus posing a big threat to the security of the UK.
UK powerless to stop practice--London has expressed its inability to control such a practice alone. Damian Green, the UK immigration minister stated the UK government had almost negligible power to control such a practice in Brussels without any negotiation with Belgium.
Currently, negotiations are going on with Belgian counterparts as well as Eurostar for resolving the issue at the earliest possible time, affirmed Green. And to make things worse, some UK immigration officials who tried to challenge suspected travelers to Lille received arrest threats from Belgian police officials.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, has expressed concerns over the fact that a rail ticket could grant foreigners entry into the UK.
UK not a part to the agreement—It may be worth mentioned that several European nations like Belgium and France are party to the Schengen agreement for allowing travel without any passport checks.
However, since the UK is not a party to the agreement, it can check the passports of the travelers. The travelers have two routes for Eurostar trains in Brussels.
While one gate is for passengers going to Lille, without any passport checks, other one is for the UK, which has passport checks.
So, any passenger could avoid passport checking by buying two tickets to cross the Lille gate and keep on staying on the train to London.