Page last updated at 16:17 GMT, Thursday, 15 January 2009

Britain-Ireland passport checks

Gatwick Airport
Passengers between the Republic and Britain will face routine checks

Air and ferry passengers travelling between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain are to face routine passport checks under new laws.

All EU citizens will have to show their passport or ID card on arrival at airports and ferry terminals from 2014.

Non-EU passport holders will face more detailed checks on their right to be in Britain.

The plans are outlined in the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill, which was published on Thursday.

The bill also contains the new "earned citizenship" rules for spouses and economic migrants.

Husbands and wives of UK nationals will be able to become full citizens in as little as three years and economic migrants in as little as six.

But they will have to be able to speak English, secure work and pay tax, and volunteer for community work if they want their application speeded up.

Committing minor crimes could lead to applications being delayed for up to 10 years.

And access to benefits will be restricted until applicants have passed through the "probation" process.

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