UK Politics

Conservative Party: EU rules are fatal for terror watchlist

News   •   Feb 26, 2010 09:44 GMT

Shadow Security Minister Baroness Neville-Jones has pointed out that EU rules will make the Government’s proposed terror watchlists ineffective.

In response to the failed attack on an airliner heading for Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, the Government announced that it would use the existing Home Office Watchlist as the basis for two new lists.

There was to be a no-fly list, and a larger list of those who should be subject to special measures prior to boarding flights bound for the UK (including transit/transfer passengers).

However, the European Commission says the UK cannot compulsorily collect Advance Passenger Information (API) for flights from within the EU under the e-Borders scheme, regardless of the nationality of the passenger.

And as the British Government has decided to also not collect and use Passenger Name Record information (PNR) for intra-EU flights, this means that Britain currently has no way of collecting advance information on all travellers arriving from within the EU.

The Detroit bomber flew from Nigeria to Holland and then on to America. If he’d travelled through Britain he might well not have been picked up by the new watchlist.

Speaking about the issue in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute, Neville-Jones said that Labour are "knowingly and inexcusably misleading the public into thinking that they are creating a system which will be an effective barrier to dangerous people being able to get on to a flight to the UK".

"The flimsy basis of the new watch list will provide no such protection", she added.