Displaying items by tag: border controls
NI Protocol disagreement
Part of Brexit released lorries from checkpoints between the UK and EU (Northern Ireland to Republic of Ireland). Instead they are checked when arriving in NI from mainland UK. This protocol was agreed because of sensitive political border histories. Boris Johnson wants to change this protocol section to make it easier for some goods to move between Britain and NI. But the European Commission vice-president said there was ‘no legal or political justification whatsoever for unilaterally changing an international agreement; it has left us with no choice but to take legal action.’ Mr Johnson insists the proposals are legal, will secure the UK’s future and are set out in a parliamentary bill. The protocol is upsetting the balance of the Good Friday Agreement’. The Democratic Unionist Party, who won the second-most seats in recent elections, is refusing to set up a new ruling Northern Ireland executive with Sinn Féin, who won the most seats, until changes are made to the protocol.
After-Brexit hiccups: NI food shortages
The international trade secretary, Liz Truss, has admitted Brexit led to food shortages in Northern Ireland after weeks of disruption. Her cabinet colleague Brandon Lewis, the Northern Ireland secretary, had argued that the coronavirus crisis was solely to blame for the shortages, but Ms Truss contradicted him, blaming both issues. Meanwhile, a row broke out between the UK and EU after the Foreign Office refused to grant the bloc’s ambassador in London the same diplomatic status afforded to representatives of individual nation states. Also, anger is building among manufacturers as EU customers cancel orders due to Brexit red tape.
France: Irish truck drivers might need Covid-19 tests
Large numbers of Irish trucks have begun transporting goods via ferries to France, to avoid delays on the more traditional route to continental Europe via Britain, which withdrew from EU trading rules on 1 January. Ireland's transport minister said that France may now require rapid Covid tests from Irish truck drivers operating on this route. The new measures would target the more infectious variant of the coronavirus first discovered in England but now widespread in Ireland. The PCR Covid test can take several days. However, a much quicker antigen test can give results in minutes. Whichever test the French decide on, the truckers will have to manage it and ensure they do it without disrupting supply chains. (France’s demand for Covid tests from British drivers in December caused significant delays and disruption.)
USA: Mexico border and IS plot
Despite President Trump’s stepped-up law enforcement at the Mexican border, arrests have nearly doubled since last year. ‘We are in a full-blown emergency, and I cannot say this more strongly - the system is broken’, said a border protection spokesperson. In May agents apprehended 144,000+ migrants. Now Homeland Security has uncovered an IS plot to send fighters from Syria to the USA by way of migrant routes across the porous border. Mexico is taking ‘decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organisations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks’, by deploying thousands of national guards to control migrant flow. On 8 June, the State Department promised to expand a programme that returns asylum-seekers to Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. Mexico will offer them jobs, healthcare and education. See
UK border control
Border Force is a new department of the Home Office, which has replaced some of the functions of the UK Border Agency. It manages UK border controls, enforcing immigration and customs regulations. We can pray for Paul Lincoln, the newly appointed director-general, that he may turn the tide of terror away from our borders. Pray for his team to work in unity with other organisations so that nothing is missed or overlooked, and for them to be aware of every hidden strategy against our safety. Pray for the teams who register all traveller services, monitor goods entering the UK, investigate immigration crime or suspicious activities at sea, and much more. May they rise up and become all that God has created them to be, so that this nation lives in peace.
EU calls for border controls to be lifted
On 2 May, the European Commissioner for migration asked Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Sweden (some of the richest and most preferred European destinations for migrants) to implement a gradual withdrawal, over the next six months, of the temporary controls applied in 2015 at their Schengen borders. Critics believe this could trigger another immigration crisis, and allow jihadists to cross Europe without being detected. Many Christians believe God is using this situation to bring the unsaved out of closed countries and into opportunities to hear the gospel (see the previous article).