Plans for volunteer border guards would expose Britain’s soft underbelly in the fight against terrorism and organised crime.
The Home Office has confirmed proposals for “border force special volunteers” at small air and sea ports, who would be unpaid and have no powers to interrogate or arrest suspects.
It recently emerged the budget for UK border force will be cut again in 2017/18, from £565m to £552m. The number of border guards has been cut from 8,153 in 2014/15 to 7,574 this year.
Now we see what the Conservatives really mean by ‘controlling our borders’ – they want to re-invent Dad’s Army at our ports.
This would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. Our small ports are Britain’s soft underbelly in the fight against illegal immigration, drug smuggling and terrorism.
Theresa May’s cuts to the UK Border Force have almost certainly already led to a rise in illegal immigration and drug smuggling.
If she now thinks introducing a few uniformed volunteers is the right response to this serious threat, it really is time to panic, Mr Mainwaring.