Passport checks could stop cruise lines visiting UK portsBack to Forum
Anonymous6 Mar 2013
Do we really want tourists visiting the UK?
“The UK border forces are now requiring every single cruise passenger to present their passport to UK officials.
Cruise companies could pull out of UK ports as border controls leave passengers queuing for hours for a day trip in the UK.
The industry is asking for a ‘risk-based approach’ to passport checks as tightened border controls now mean all EU passengers arriving for a visit are checked – including British Passengers.We believe these passengers are extremely low-risk.
“They would visit the cultural and heritage sights in the area, such as castles, gardens and stately homes. They will also SHOP.”
Cruise Britain, estimates that each passenger spends just over £82 on a day trip when they disembark, meaning a ship with 2,000 people on board is worth £164,000.
The PSA.describes EU tourists as ‘low risk’, saying the Border Agency has details of everyone on board before the ship docks anyway.
“If you have thousands of people on a ship, it can take hours to get off, it is not particularly friendly.
“Cruise companies have details of all passengers so it is easy to identify passengers the border force wish to see directly.
A spokesman for Cruise Britain, fears this will do serious harm to the British tourism industry.6 Mar 2013
I think this is ridiculous however why would / should the UK authorities give such passengers dispensation for checks? Do they get such dispensation in other countries?6 Mar 2013
Yes they do. For instance when a ship moves from one country in the Schengen zone to another no extra checks are required. Many of the EU countries that are stops on cruises are part on the Schengen zone.
It is a classic example of British ignorance. The government, under pressure of nationalists and EU sceptics, are hurting the British economy again with these dumb policies. We should not take this out on the border agency, they do just as they are told. The real culprits are to be found in Westminster. No vision, no leadership, no future!
Britain is hurting itself badly with its seperatism from a single Europe. Europe and European trade, including tourism, is where we make our money. Making that difficult hurts us all!6 Mar 2013
Every cruiseship has a passenger and a crewlist. The good thing about the Schengen agreement is that immigration control is done once, at the external border of the Schengen-area. This can be any port of entry such as an international airport. After that the person is free to travel within the Schengen area within the visa rules.
As to unwanted foreigners: cruise passengers are not your typical illegal immigrants. They are normally above average earners and spenders and have a very healthy effect on the economy of the city or region where their ship docks. I fully agree with this on Terry.
Cruise voyages are a rapidly growing market and the UK is an interesting destination, but that requires legislation in line with these new realities. That in turn requires an open and entrepreneurial government, not withheld by a xenophobic bunch that retain that 1066 spirit.
After all: it’s all about the economy. We need the income and the jobs!7 Mar 2013
I agree with your points Edski, except that terrorist organisers are often dressed like you or me and will not blink about paying good money for an easy, undetected entry into a country using a forged passport for travel.
This can be picked up by UKBA whereas it may not be noticed at all by the cruise company.
From recollection, when I went to the US on the QM2 there were many people coming back that same evening. They had to disembark and they had to clear US immigration.
Another of life’s obstacles put in the way of the traveller that we just have to put up with I guess!7 Mar 2013
Funny how people always come up with that same line: terrorists.
We are talking about boatloads of fairly wealthy middle-aged people that travel for fun. If they come from a country outside of the EU they are quite thoroughly checked at their place of entry into the EU. If they enter the Schengen area they can travel freely within this group of countries (plus four other countries, including Switzerland).
Border control has much better instruments to check and intercept terrorists using the screening of passenger lists and profiling. Much better than mass checks at the border with 2 to 3000 passengers pushing through. Again: old fashioned policies are hurting the UK economy!7 Mar 2013
I am more with Edski than with Lugano on this, but we have to appreciate the reasons why the UK may be more vulnerable to terrorism than most other European countries.
Meanwhile I delight in the ease and pleasure of travel within the Schengen area.7 Mar 2013
This is more about the UK being not part of Schengen rather than anything else.
If the UK chooses to be not part of Schengen, then UKBA has no choice but to police the borders in line with what the Government has decreed. And Parliament in turn has been tightening up the loopholes all round (eg the passport checks on inbound Eurostars).
The real question is why the UK feels the need to stay outside Schengen. DavidGordon10, you claim that “the UK may be more vulnerable to terrorism than most other European countries”. This may be so – though it is a somewhat sweeping statement – but is not the real reason that the UK public is (for whatever reason, rational or irrational) more agitated than most by immigration? Politicians reflect the views of the electorate, and the electorate has repeatedly shown itself to be xenophobic. You and I may feel this is unthinking and simplistic but it is what it is.7 Mar 2013
I have been on a large number of expedtion cruises to some pretty remote parts of the world- including all countries from Namibia to Ghana (save Nigeria). Without exception we were not asked to present our passports at the port of entry. On two occasions, the immigration officers (who always embark first to “clear” the ship- no one can disembark before they do) did ask to see each passenger, a request withdrawn once the cruise line paid the officers for a VIP service. In other words a bribe.
Given the demographic, this doesn’t seem to be a risk based approach by UKBA. Indeed, the real risk is letting the terrorist on the ship, not off it…7 Mar 2013
Cedric @ 11.54 – yes, the British are indeed xenophobic, and that is part of the problem. Then, we have the problem of immigration and border policy apparently being driven by the Daily Mail rather than by anything rational. And by the words “may be more vulnerable to terrorism” – I emphasise the “may” – I mean that if UK foreign policy is perceived (rightly or wrongly) to be aligned to the USA, and to be anti-Islamic, then the UK “may be more vulnerable”.7 Mar 2013
DavidGordon10 @19.19 absolutely right.
The sooner the Daily Mail stops being the source of government policy the better.
In an economy which is struggling, why do we make it so difficult for Chinese visitors coming to Europe i.e. Schengen area so difficult to come to the UK? It’s well known that many don’t come because of the extra visa issue.
I’m sure that Germany and the Netherlands and several more places do not have poor border controls – as evidenced when you go there but our Daily Mail driven agenda will not accept that – of course most readers there don’t know that WW2 is over yet.7 Mar 2013
Why should arriving on a cruise exempt people from border checks?
Plus the bit about Schengen is surely a red herring. People in the Schengen area are not subject to border checks whether travelling by plane, boat, car or Shanks’ pony. In other words contrary to what Edski777 says there is no special dispensation.7 Mar 2013