Massive Migration of Refugee’s Into Europe – Westminster Government Assures the Public UK Immigration is Secure and Strictly Controlled – But What is the Truth Of the Matter?

Illegal Immigration | Key Topics

  • Accurate numbers are not possible but there could be as many as one million illegal immigrants in the UK.


  • Removals of immigration offenders are very low. A significant increase in resources for this purpose is essential.






2003: Tony Blair Assures UK Public Immigration controls would be put in place establishing effective control of the countries borders

The e-Borders programme, launched by Labour in 2005 was a £1bn attempt to reform border controls. In 2007 Raytheon, (a US defence corporation) won a nine-year contract to introduce and operate the programme.

Three years into the contract period, Theresa May, Home Secretary terminated the contract with the US defence corporation, after claiming it was failing. She further stated the government had lost confidence in Raytheon’s ability to deliver the programme after it fell a year behind schedule.

Raytheon threatened to sue ministers for £500m, blaming the UK Border Agency for the failings, before the two sides entered into binding arbitration to reach a settlement.

The UK government was ordered to pay damages; £50m for ending the contract. £126m for assets the company delivered prior to being sacked, such as IT systems. £10m to settle complaints relating to changes to the original contract. £38m in interest payments. Total £224million.

In a statement to the New York Stock Exchange, Raytheon said: “The arbitration tribunal found that the Home Office had unlawfully terminated [the company] for default in 2010 and therefore had repudiated the e-borders contract. “The Tribunal denied all Home Office claims for damages and clawback of previous payments. The Tribunal’s ruling confirms that [Raytheon] delivered substantial capabilities to the UK Home Office under the e-borders program.”









17 February 2015: Home Office wins £224m e-Borders appeal

The Home Office has won its appeal against an order to pay £224m to a US defence firm over the cancellation of a secure borders contract.

A tribunal ruling ordering the payment to Raytheon was set aside by a judge.

The contract to deliver the e-Borders programme, launched by the previous Labour government, was cancelled by the coalition.

E-Borders was meant to collect details from passenger lists of all people entering and leaving the UK.

The original award, of £50m in damages plus other costs, was made by an arbitration tribunal in August.

Pinsent Masons, the law firm representing the Home Office, said the judge had found that the original award had been “tainted by serious irregularity so as to cause substantial injustice”.

Raytheon, which was given a nine-year contract in 2007 to run the programme, said it contested the ruling and would be appealing to the Court of Appeal to recover money for the “wrongful termination” of the e-Borders contract.

A spokesman said: “It is a fundamental principle of international business that awards of arbitral tribunals are respected and enforced by national courts.”

When it terminated the contract with Raytheon in 2010, the government said it had lost confidence in the firm’s ability to deliver the programme after it fell a year behind schedule.

Raytheon threatened to sue ministers for £500m, blaming the UK Border Agency for the failings, before the two sides entered into binding arbitration to reach a settlement.

The Home Office said: “We are pleased with the judgement handed down today by the court. However, the legal process is ongoing and it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

E-Borders has been dogged by problems since its launch.

Last year the head of the UK Border Force, Sir Charles Montgomery, told MPs the scheme had been “terminated” in its current form.







3 December 2015: Home Office criticised over £830m ‘failed’ borders scheme

The Home Office has been criticised for failing to complete a project to boost UK border security – despite spending at least £830 million on it.

The e-borders scheme was meant to collect and analyse data on everyone travelling to and from the UK before they arrive at ports and airports.

But the National Audit Office says checks remain “highly manual and inefficient”, and IT systems outdated.

The Home Office says all UK arrivals are checked against watch lists.

The e-borders scheme has been dogged by problems since its launch in 2003, and in 2014, the head of the UK Border Force, Sir Charles Montgomery, told MPs it had been “terminated” in its current form.

By collecting advanced passenger information (API), such as passport numbers and nationalities, it was meant to allow officials to “export the border” by preventing people from embarking on journeys to the UK where they were considered a threat.






Eight years late

Among the report’s key findings:

  • £830m was spent on the project between April 2006 and March 2015, with another £275m likely to be needed by March 2019
  • Among those costs was £150m on an out-of-court settlement paid after the original e-borders contract was cancelled
  • The project is not set to be finished until 2019 – eight years late
  • API was only collected from 86% of arrivals in September this year, despite the target being 100%
  • Moreover, API still is not available for most rail and ferry journeys
  • Only 20% of booking data – more comprehensive than API – is being collected. Again, the target is 100%.

The NAO said a database known as the Warning Index – designed to flag up known criminals or terrorists – was still being used eight years after it should have been retired.

While it has been upgraded, it is “still far from good” and suffers an average of two “high priority incidents a week”.

These breakdowns include situations where part of the system is not available or performing too slowly to function, or where it is inaccessible at 30% or more control points at a port or airport.

The Home Office insisted contingency arrangements were in place for when those incidents occurred.








Analysis: Danny Shaw, BBC home affairs correspondent

This is a devastating critique of a project presented by the Home Office, first under Labour, as the key to securing Britain’s borders. In fact, as the report reveals, the programme has been torpedoed by its ambition.

Collecting and assessing advance passenger information on more than 200 million journeys a year was always going to be hard task – involving co-ordinating the supply of data from 600 air, ferry and rail carriers and 30 government agencies.

Add in creaking computer systems, a high turnover of key staff and a draining legal dispute with the private contractor, and it’s clear that ministers and officials over-reached themselves.

There’s little doubt more advance passenger information is available now than in 2003, when the scheme was first developed, but the costs have risen hugely with some border checks still being conducted using scraps of paper.







The Warning Index operates alongside another system called semaphore, but the NAO said the failure to integrate them meant staff still had to check passports manually and consult printed A4 sheets when probing suspicious vehicle registrations.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said e-borders had not “delivered value for money”.

“Some valuable capabilities have been added to our border defences during the life of this project, though their efficiency is impaired by a failure to replace old IT systems,” he added.

Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, described the report as a “devastating indictment” of the e-borders project.

“With the terrorism threat level currently at severe, a failure to properly cover millions of people entering the country without having passenger information in advance gives a green light to people who wish to come to the UK for illegal or dangerous activity,” he said.






What are e-borders?

  • Launched in 2003, the scheme was originally meant to collect details from passenger lists of all people entering and leaving the UK
  • The US firm handed the £750m contract, Raytheon, was fired by the coalition in 2010
  • The e-borders contract was split in two with IBM and Serco given the job of getting a system in place at nine airports before the 2012 London Olympics
  • In 2014, the director general of the UK Border Force said “full e-borders capability”, as originally envisaged, would not be achieved, but the checks and screening would be incorporated into a new programme.







Immigration Minister James Brokenshire said every passenger arriving in the UK was checked against a range of watch lists.

“The e-borders programme was set up under the Labour government and when that contract ended in 2010, our immediate priority was to invest in stabilising the crucial but old-fashioned systems, to tackle the fast-evolving terrorist, criminal and illegal immigration threats faced by the UK.

“The Border Systems Portfolio, in conjunction with a range of programmes across security and law enforcement, is working effectively to keep our citizens safe and our country secure.”



Lin Homer Former Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency (Awarded Dame-hood 2015 by David Cameron)

Lin Homer





17 December 2015: E-borders delivered most of its aims, Lin Homer tells MPs

The Home Office’s £1bn e-borders scheme – seen by many as a costly disaster – has in fact delivered most of its aims, the woman who ran it told MPs.

Lin Homer said it had provided “12 years of continuous improvements” to border security even if progress had been “slower” than she had wanted.

She denied claims by MPs that 80% of the money spent on it was wasted.

Ms Homer, who is now boss of HM Revenue and Customs, was giving evidence to the public accounts committee.

The National Audit Office this week published a highly critical report into e-borders, which was meant to collect and analyse data on everyone travelling to and from the UK before they arrive at ports and airports.

The spending watchdog said checks at Britain’s borders remained “highly manual and inefficient”, and relied on outdated IT systems.








‘Big and bold’

The NAO said a database known as the Warning Index – designed to flag up known criminals or terrorists – was still being used eight years after it should have been retired.

The e-borders system was meant to replace it and another “unstable” old checking system, Semaphore, in March 2014 – but it was scrapped by the government last year. A new system incorporating some of its functions is due to go live in 2019.

Ms Homer, who was chief executive of the UK Border Agency until 2011, insisted a “significant amount” of what e-borders was meant to do “has been delivered,” adding: “It would not be my view that 80% of the money we spent in those 12 years was wasted.”

She denied the programme had been “over ambitious”, telling MPs: “When you set contracts, sometimes they don’t work. We tried something big and bold and I think a lot of it worked.”

She said Semaphore, an IBM pilot system launched in 2004 to test the e-borders concept, was proving effective at analysing passenger lists.





Accounts ‘destroyed’

Semaphore was beefed up into a front-line service when the coalition government sacked Raytheon, the US contractor hired by the previous Labour government to deliver e-borders, in 2010 after delays.

Raytheon threatened to sue the Home Office for £500m, blaming the UK Border Agency for failings. In March 2015, the government agreed to pay £150m to the company to settle the dispute.

Ms Homer told MPs: “I would accept that a significant amount of the money we paid to Raytheon did not give us value for money but that is not the whole £700m.”

She told the MPs she had not been the “architect” of e-borders but it had been her “vision”.

How e-borders went wrong

Tony Blair launched the e-borders programme in 2003 to help combat the terror threat and tighten immigration controls

It was originally meant to come on stream in 2007 to work alongside “biometric” identity cards and facial recognition technology

The system was meant to collect details from passenger lists of all people entering and leaving the UK so that they can be checked against security watch lists

The US firm handed a £750m contract by Labour to deliver e-borders, Raytheon, was fired by the coalition government in 2010 for “extremely disappointing” performance

Two old systems were upgraded at a cost of £89m – they are now collecting advance passport data on 86% of passengers travelling to the UK and nearly 100% of passengers leaving the UK


Tony Blair



From 2003 to 2015, the Home Office spent “at least £830m” on e-borders and planned to spend a further £275m on the successor programme, according to the NAO.

But the spending watchdog said it could not be more precise because spending records between 2003 and 2006 had apparently been destroyed.

Committee chairman, Labour MP Meg Hillier, said she found it “hard to believe” the records no longer existed, but if that was the case “we would like to know when it was destroyed and who authorised it”.

Mark Sedwill, the permanent secretary at the Home Office, said the missing records were due to a change in accounting procedures, but he said he would investigate whether they could be retrieved.







Lessons learned?

Labour MP Caroline Flint, a former Home Office minister, and Conservative MP Stephen Phillips, suggested it might have worked out cheaper to relaunch the Raytheon contract, as Ms Homer had wanted, rather than sacking the firm.

But Mr Sedwill said it had not just been about the money, telling the MPs: “It was fundamentally about confidence in delivery, particularly with the Olympics coming.”

Raytheon’s main complaint about the contract was that the Home Office kept changing what it wanted from e-borders.

Asked what lessons could be learned to prevent taxpayers money being wasted in the future, Richard Daniel, chief executive of Raytheon UK, said: “Maybe we could have spent more time understanding the Home Office and how they worked.”

He added: “From early on, there was a difference in expectations in terms of how the contract would run.”









7 March 2016: Government’s failed e-Borders will take a further 8 years and cost more than £1bn

A Public Accounts Committee report has criticized the UK Home Office on the botched e-borders programme, saying that the project will end up costing £1bn and delivered eight years late.

In the report, the MPs Committee has also warned that the programme will not deliver the desired benefit.

The e-borders scheme was initially launched in 2003 to keep a track of all passengers transiting in and out of the UK within 10 years.

Primary intention of the programme was to improve border security by collecting data of passengers who enter the country by air, rail and sea by gathering and processing data on them before they reach the border.

The programme was dogged by controversies and problems before it was terminated in 2014, in its current form.

The Home Office initially entered into a contract with US-based technology and defence company Raytheon in 2007, but this was terminated in July 2010 citing that the company failed to reach milestones.

Following the termination of the deal the Home office had to pay £150m in settlement charges to Raytheon and spend £35m on legal costs.






The committee said in its report: “It is now five years since the e-Borders contract was cancelled yet the capabilities delivered so far still fall short of what was originally envisaged. Since 2010 the Major Projects Authority has issued seven warnings about these programmes.

“The Department’s complacency about progress to date increases our concerns about whether the programme will be completed by 2019 as the Department now promises, and whether tangible benefits for border security, transport carriers and passengers will result.”

Major reasons for the delay is the cancellation of the deal with Raytheon under which the company was to deliver its own solution to meet the Department’s objectives to a fixed price and timescale which ‘turned out to be unrealistic’.

Public Accounts Committee Chair Meg Hillier said: “This is an important Report, revealing a history of poor management and a worrying complacency about its impact on taxpayers.

“It is accepted that successful completion of this project is essential to the security of our international borders. Yet the original target date has long passed and we are still at least three years away from delivery. The stop, start approach has cost the taxpayer dear.”

“I am careful to say ‘at least’ three years from delivery because we are not convinced warnings about the progress of this project have been treated with sufficient gravity, nor that sufficient action has been taken to prevent a repeat of past problems.”

Following the cancellation of the deal with Raytheon, the Home Office has implemented successor programmes, including the Border Systems Programme and Digital Services at the Border, which has already cost £830m, as of March 2015.

The committee has concluded that the Home Office “does not have a clear picture of the management information it has or needs to manage the UK border” and frequent changes in management have added to the worry.

The PAC committee said that the officials are dismissive about the delay despite seven warnings issued by Major Projects Authority since 2010.

The Committee criticised the department saying : “It is difficult to understand where this confidence comes from, given the lengthy delays and continual warnings of ongoing management issues, which gives us cause for concern about the future prospects for this programme which is vital to national security.”

Since 2012, the Home Office’s Border Force directorate is responsible for operating the borders and previously it was being managed by UK Border Agency and the Home Office.

A UK Home Office spokesman was quoted by BBC as saying that the programme is a “top priority” and “we are investing heavily in our systems to tackle the threat from terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration”.

“Every passenger crossing our control points into the UK is checked against a range of watch-lists and the UK passport is among the most secure in the world.”



Home Office in London






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