Validity of border controls to be tested in court

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The Independent Online
A test case in the courts later this month is likely to determine once and for all whether Britain can maintain its border controls, writes Heather Mills.

Sixteen UK residents are to challenge the Government's assertion that it has the right to continue passport controls. They argue the Single European Act allows for the free movement of all people within the Union and that the UK should not be enforcing its internal borders with EU countries.

They say that tightening immigration controls on external borders has already turned the EU into "fortress Europe". The test case is being brought by Don Flynn, one of the 16 who tried to re-enter the country from France without passports. He is to seek a judicial review in the High Court of the immigration officer's decision to detain him at Dover and subject him to immigration controls. He will ask for a referral to the European Court of Justice.

The 16, all members of the Standing Conference on Race Equality in Europe (Score-UK), complied with three separate passport checks at Dover at the start of their journey. But on their return, they refused to show any documentation.

The Government is expected to fiercely contest the action.

Josephine Ocloo, vice-chair of Score-UK said: "Part of the reason for testing the issue was to highlight the way black people are treated when travelling in Europe."

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