The National Audit Office report on the UK border that was released today shows:
Over the past four years the Border Force workforce has reduced by 4%.(Page 24)
If the existing entry regime for non-EEA nationals is extended to all EEA arrivals, UK Visas and Immigration will need to make 230% more decisions a year.(Page 27)
If customs declarations are required for trade between the UK and the existing EU, HMRC estimates that the total number of customs declarations could increase by around 360.(Page 27)
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:
“This independent report shows the stark reality facing Britain’s border security. A 4% cut in the workforce over the last few years risks undermining public confidence and increasing illegal immigration. Added to this is the Brexit disaster which could lead to a potential 360% increase in customs declarations, and a more than doubling in the number of entry checks.
“What this could mean is gridlock for millions of people returning from their holidays waiting longer for their passports to be checked, and a backlog of lorries entering and leaving the UK. This is not what people voted for.
“In Coalition Theresa May dragged her heels on introducing exit checks, and we are now once again seeing the Conservatives are not taking these issues seriously. If they refuse to rule out a no-deal Brexit they must be honest about what that will cost, which once again shows why when the facts of Brexit are known, the public must be allowed to have their say on it in a referendum, so they can exit from Brexit if they decide to do so.”