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British Government moves to reintroduce border checks must be opposed-Martina Anderson MLA

8 June, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin


Sinn Féin Human Rights Spokesperson, Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) has urged the Irish government to register strong opposition to plans by the British Government to reintroduce legislation allowing wide powers to carry out document checks on people crossing the border.


Martina Anderson said:


“This move by the British government must be opposed by all people who cherish the principles of equality and human rights. I am calling on the Irish government to register strong opposition to these proposals which will infringe on the freedom of movement of Irish citizens travelling in their own country. Not only will the powers being suggested infringe the rights of Irish citizens but they would clearly lead to racial discrimination and human rights abuse.


“Having failed to have these measures passed previously as primary legislation, plans to reintroduce them through a clause in the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill which would unilaterally remove the law preventing passport control between the two jurisdictions is an abuse of power. The Bill will be debated in the British House of Commons today 9th June.


“The claim that checks will not target British or Irish citizens can only result in racial profiling. How will they determine who is or is not an Irish or British citizen?


“The proposals are for mobile immigration patrols along the border to target cross-border traffic. People will be expected to show passports or other identity documents proving British or Irish citizenship or risk the possibility of arrest pending confirmation of their citizenship status.


“I have no doubt that when this Bill is brought before the British House of Commons today it will once more expose the political impotence of those MP’s from the North who choose to take seats in a parliament that has no relevance to the needs of the people they purport to represent. The British government will pass whatever legislation it thinks will curry favour with the British electorate. There are no votes for them here!


“Even if Northern MP’s vote en-bloc, against this repulsive legislation they will have no effect on the outcome. It will further emphasise the need for transfer of maximum powers from London to the island of Ireland so that we can formulate our own legislation based on equality and human rights for all.”  ENDS

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