May says border forces will need 'several years' to get up to standard

  • @NigelpMorris

It will take several years to get the organisations guarding Britain’s frontiers up to a high standard, the Home Secretary warned MPs today.

Theresa May was speaking eight months after the Border Force was split from the UK Border Agency (UKBA) following the disclosure that immigration checks had been secretly relaxed to reduce queues at airports and ports.

“There are a number of issues that have arisen over the years in the way in which UKBA is set up and has been operating and we need to deal with those,” she said.

She told the Commons home affairs select committee that the two organisations were undergoing huge “transformation programmes”.

Ms May added: “It will take a number of years for both of those transformation programmes to come through and get to the position we all want to see. This is not a quick job, this is not an easy job.”

The Home Secretary also ruled out any fresh moves to decriminalise possession of drugs, warning that it would create further problems. However, she also disclosed that Lord Henley, previously the drugs minister, had left the department in the ministerial reshuffle and a replacement was being appointed.