Mina Observatory – Britain
A measure banning entry into the UK using ID cards issued by EU countries and European Economic Area countries in the post-Brexit era came into force on Friday, the British government announced.
Under plans announced by London about a year ago, the majority of citizens of Switzerland, the European Union and the European Economic Area countries will be required to hold a valid passport to enter the United Kingdom from October 1.
Britain has made clear that this measure, which comes on the heels of its final exit from the European Union earlier this year, is necessary to reduce the possibility of using falsifiable documents easier to enter its territory, combat crime and stop illegal immigrants.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement, Thursday night, that London “must catch criminals who seek to enter our country illegally, using forged documents.”
“By stopping the use of unsafe ID cards, we are strengthening the security of our borders and prioritizing people by restoring control of the UK’s immigration system.”
This measure comes into force at a time when Britain suffers from a shortage of truck drivers, estimated at thousands, which has led to a severe fuel crisis and a scarcity of some supplies on the shelves of consumer stores.
And estimates issued by the road transport sector warned that the change in criteria for entry using identity cards threatens to impose additional obstacles for drivers, in light of the existing shortage, which government critics attribute to “Brexit” and the Corona crisis.
Banning entry using identity cards was among the changes that the ruling Conservative Party promised to adopt during its 2019 election campaign, as part of its promise to restore control of movement at the UK border.
The proposed laws, which have drawn criticism from human rights defenders, include powers to arrest illegal immigrants and transfer asylum seekers to other countries while their claims are processed.
London indicated that citizens of Switzerland, the European Union and European Economic Area countries who had previously been granted residence in Britain, will be allowed to enter its territory using an identity card only at border crossings, until 2025.