The last government introduced 'e-borders' legislation as below:

"Primary legislation was enacted in 2006 to provide the framework enabling powers for the programme. The primary legislation (paragraphs 27 and 27B of Schedule 2 to the Immigration Act 1971 ( as amended in 2006 and sections 32 to 38 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 ( creates powers for the UK Border Agency and the police to obtain passenger, crew and service data from carriers in advance of all movements into and out of the United Kingdom and a duty for the border agencies to share that data among themselves."

As a general principle, I do not believe it the government's right to know where, when and how it's citizens are travelling. 

More specifically, the UKBA is attempting to apply the provision of "passenger, crew and service data " to the movements of pleasure vessels, without realising that such provision is impractical in many cases. To give a simple example:

A yacht may depart Cowes, with four people aboard, heading for Cherbourg. Because of weather and tides, the skipper decides to divert to, say, Alderney. One of the crew did not enjoy the crossing and decides to fly back to the UK. Meanwhile, the remaining three people decide to sail to Dielette, in France, which will now be easier to reach than Cherbourg. They do so, spend a night there, and set off to return to Cowes. During the trip, the wind makes reaching Cowes a hard beat, and they decide to divert to Poole, which would be a much more comfortable trip. They arrive successfully.

It should be noted that the majority of small boats have no means of online access to keep UKBA aware of such changes.

Before departure they electronically posted an e-borders trip report for four people travelling Cowes/Cherbourg/Cowes. The actual trip was Cowes/Alderney(4)/Dielette(3)/Poole(3). This is entirely a likely scenario. Because the evolving trip deviates from the initial e-borders notification my understanding is that the skipper is liable to prosecution, and yet the skipper has limited means to contact the UKBA and notify changes during the trip, and certainly not whilst at sea.

In my view, the entire e-borders concept infringes personal liberty, but in particular attempting to apply it to small leisure craft is, put simply, daft. The legislation should be withdrawn.




Why is this idea important?

Infringement of liberty. Impractical to administer for the recreational boater.

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