Common Area Travel Channel allows people to enter the country without showing their passports
7th July 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he intends to shut down a loophole at airports which could be used by foreigners without a passport to enter the UK.
“Common Area Travel Channel” is an airport zone which allows people to enter Great Britain without showing their passports. This method of entering UK was revealed by MP Robert Halfon, Conservative MP for Harlow. People would fly to London with an additional air ticket, from a different destination to the British Isles and thus, they would pass through the “common area” where there is no need to have the passport checked. “Given the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee next year, is the Prime Minister aware that immigration and special branch officers at Stansted Airport are concerned that the “Common Area Travel Channel” in its current form allows illegal migrants, Islamists and terrorists into the country without their passports being checked?”, asked Mr. Halfon, at Prime Minister’s Questions.
“Passport-free travel between the UK, the crown dependencies and the Republic of Ireland has been in place for many years and it does offer some real economic and social benefits. I do accept these routes can be open to abuse and we are determined to resolve this,” answered Prime Minister Cameron. “The UK Border Agency is working very closely with Ireland and others to make sure this happens. But we’ve got to try to do that, without disadvantaging people who’ve been able to take advantage of the ‘Common Area Travel Channel’ up to now”, the Prime Minister added.