The Rule of Law (RIP)

21 Feb 2011

It has just emerged that on 10th February the snappily titled Equality (Transit Visa, Entry Clearance, Leave to Enter, Examination of Passengers and Removal Directions) Authorisation 2011 was both made and came into operation. This happened without warning or publication.

The Order allows UK Border Agency staff to treat different nationalities differently in immigration control procedures. In particular the Border Agency may:-

  • subject some applicants to more rigorous scrutiny than others by reason only of their nationality;
  • refuse or cancel a persons visa before he/she comes to the UK by reason only of the travellers nationality;
  • detain travellers with Visas at the point of entry then refuse them entry by reason only of their nationality;
  • give priority to the deportation of a person according to his or her nationality.

These wide ranging powers may be exercised if the person is of a nationality which “appears on a letter of nationalities approved personally by the Minister for the purposes of this authorisation.”

So, the Border Agency is allowed to practice racial discrimination provided only that the person on the receiving end of this treatment is from a country which appears on the Minster’s personal list; a list which doesn’t require parliamentary approval and which may be created or revised at any time without notice to anyone.