The National Audit Office says cost of beleaguered 'e-borders' anti-terror project will spiral to at least £1.1 billion amid concern over unstable security computer systems in a report out today. The IT system designed to stop terrorists and criminals getting into Britain is breaking down twice a week amid a £1 billion fiasco at the Home Office. The project is supposed to count every traveller in and out of Britain – begun under Labour in 2003 - has already cost £830 million and further fixes will cost another £275 million.
UKIP’s Migration Spokesman Steven Woolfe MEP said: “Last year UKIP spoke up about the urgency needed to rectify the appalling mess that the Home Office has made of the IT systems that help secure our country’s borders. Even in the last year of the last parliament Theresa May and David Cameron were content to blame the previous Government which commissioned the border control IT system.
By all accounts the Coalition government started to change the specification for this installation when it realised that it had created Borderless Britain through its support of the free EU movement of people principles. As specced the system could not distinguish between EU and non-EU citizens! Now this report from the NAO shows that neither Cameron nor May have a grip on rectifying problems with these critical systems that count how many people enter and leave our country.
“In the current climate where the EU’s Schengen Agreement is collapsing and the government has no idea how many illegal migrants have entered Britain, we must now recognise that the government can’t even be sure who enters and leaves the country legally. This means that the ONS Net Migration numbers join the illegal immigration statistics as, in the best case, ‘intelligent estimates’ of who enters and leaves the UK. If you can’t measure a problem, then you have no real idea of how bad it is nor what measures might be needed to fix it. This Government now not only oversees a Borderless Britain but a Brainless one! The country has never had as much to be concerned about from the tens of thousands of migrants making their way thorugh the Balkans to northern Europe and yet our government has neither the right information nor policies at hand to make our country secure. Things are only destined to get worse.”