Priti Patel: Our digital border controls ‘will keep out foreign crooks’

Glasgow: Protestors surround immigration enforcement van

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The US-style electronic checks will allow officials to count people in and out of the country accurately. They will also make it easier to ban high-risk foreign offenders from entering and leaving. The Home Secretary will use a major speech today to outline the changes, which are aimed to be implemented by the end of 2025. Calling for a “wholesale reform” of the immigration system, Ms Patel will say: “Anything short of that would not be fair, would not keep our country safe, and would not meet the demands of the British people whom I serve.

“They want a new system that works for the law-abiding majority and against those who hope to abuse our hospitality and generous spirit.

“One that welcomes those most in need of sanctuary and slams the door on dangerous criminals.

“One that attracts top talent from around the world.

“The immigration system is broken, but this country isn’t.

We can’t fix the system overnight, but we will fix it.”

The reforms mean that people who want to come into the country without a visa or immigration status will have to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorisation, with 30 million applications expected to be processed every year.

Moving to a fully digital system will replace different physical documents with a single digital product. Digital identity checks will significantly reduce the need for an individual to attend a visa application centre.

Ms Patel will also set out new approaches to tackle “the broken asylum system” and ensure criminal gangs profiting from smuggling people into the UK are brought to justice and speed up the removal of dangerous criminals.

According to the Government, in the past 10 days, more than 140 foreign criminals have been removed from the UK, and more than 700 so far this year.

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