UK immigration loophole allows Eurostar passengers to skip border checks

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is facing further immigration issues following news of a legal loophole that allows individuals to enter the UK without going through passport checks.

The bypass is being called the 'Lille Loophole'. Eurostar train passengers are able to buy a ticket from Brussels to Lille, but can then continue to travel right through to London and bypass border checks. UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has commented on the situation saying that the loophole cannot be closed without international help.

The UKBA only operates immigration border checks in the country of departure, so a passenger who purchases a Lille bound ticket could remain on the train without being checked. The UK Border Agency said that 'tighter controls' will have to be introduced to stop Eurostar passengers from entering the UK without passport checks.

"There are strict UK Immigration controls in place in France and Belgium and we have UKBA officers based at St. Pancras to target those that we believe are intent on entering Britain illegally. We are working closely with our Belgian counterparts and Eurostar to resolve this issue as quickly as possible," said Green.


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