Opinion

Brussels attacks: Home Secretary – please act now to protect our UKBA staff by moving passport control

Janice Atkinson, Independent MEP, South East England, has today called on the home secretary to remove UK Border Agency passport control at Eurostar Brussels and Paris to behind the security check area to safeguard UK and French Douanne staff.

“For some months now I have been raising my concerns about security at Paris and Brussels Eurostar stations with Eurostar and also UK Border Agency staff.

“UKBA staff have raised their concerns with me about their safety as they are on the frontline and open to attack due to passport control being situated before the security bag and body search areas. UKBA union representatives have also made representations to the Home Secretary but so far she has refused to do so.

“Whilst we cannot protect the public at all times, we can certainly prevent our frontline staff who face terror attacks day after day from being so vulnerable. The first priority of government is to protect its people, it should do so, starting today.”

Editors’ notes:

A knife wielding attacker was caught just two weeks ago at Paris Eurostar.

Janice was due to travel to Brussels this morning but as all stations are in lock down she decided to try later today or tomorrow.

She is due to attend a high level security debate with UK security experts tomorrow (Wednesday).

She has written to the Home Secretary and urged her to speak to her French counterparts. Janice has also again today contacted Eurostar.

Janice sits on the LIBE committee which handles immigration, justice and home affairs and some aspects of security.

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