Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Thursday, 15 November 2012

Justice Committee

A UK Border Agency (UKBA ) official assured the Justice Committee that there was "no suggestion that we will be setting up formal border controls between the north and south of Ireland", on 15 November 2012.

Phil Taylor, the UKBA director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, outlined the developing co-operation between the UK and the Republic of Ireland on matters such as visas and data-sharing.

"That work has taken on quite a pace in recent months," he said.

Mr Taylor said the co-operation had revealed that 20% of people in Nigeria who applied for Republic of Ireland visas claiming to have no UK travel history were known to the UK and had adverse immigration records.

Committee chairman Paul Givan asked about checks on travellers crossing the border with the Republic.

Mr Taylor said there had been plans for UKBA to increase its role in 2009 during a three-month trial, but this had been abandoned due to the deteriorating security situation.

He added that the advice they had from the police was that "static security checks on the border are not the most sensible way to operate in the current security climate".

Earlier in the meeting, the committee continued its clause-by-clause consideration of the Justice Bill.

Committee Chairman Paul Givan of the DUP advised members that the process was designed to allow for the noting of possible concerns.

Raymond McCartney of Sinn Fein asked for confirmation that the committee would not be preparing any amendments at this stage.

This was confirmed by the chairman.

The committee considered responses to the parts of the bill concerned with the retention of fingerprints and DNA profiling.

Justice committee membership


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