Face scans at the bor­der to keep track of EU mi­grants af­ter Brexit

Min­is­ters scrap plans to use fin­ger­prints be­cause of fears legal im­mi­grants may feel crim­i­nalised

The Sunday Telegraph - - Brexit - By Christo­pher Hope CHIEF PO­LIT­I­CAL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

A CON­TRO­VER­SIAL re­quire­ment to fin­ger­print EU cit­i­zens who want to work in the UK af­ter Brexit has been dropped from a forth­com­ing im­mi­gra­tion white pa­per.

In­stead min­is­ters will re­quire EU visi­tors to the UK to their faces scanned if they want to stay and work in the UK, The Sun­day Tele­graph can dis­close.

The news will ease con­cerns of crit­ics that EU na­tion­als might feel they were be­ing crim­i­nalised if they were finger printed for try­ing to work legally in the UK.

An im­mi­gra­tion white pa­per is due to be pub­lished in com­ing weeks by the Gov­ern­ment.

An early draft, which was leaked by of­fi­cials, sug­gested finger print­ing EU na­tion­als who wanted to re­main in the UK. It said: “In or­der to pro­tect against iden­tity fraud, we may also wish to take the fin­ger­prints of those new ar­rivals who are reg­is­ter­ing and as now we will carry out a se­cu­rity check.”

How­ever, a se­nior Home Of­fice source said that in­stead of fin­ger­prints the im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers will use tech­nol­ogy that scans faces when EU na­tion­als reg­is­ter to work in the UK. Sim­i­lar non-in­va­sive tech­nol­ogy which scans visi­tors’ eyes are al­ready used for new ar­rivals at Heathrow air­port.

Theresa May reached out to EU cit­i­zens in her ma­jor speech on Bri­tain’s fu­ture af­ter Brexit in Florence last month. The Prime Min­is­ter said the UK had “made sig­nif­i­cant progress on how we look af­ter Euro­pean na­tion­als liv­ing in the UK and Bri­tish na­tion­als liv­ing in the 27 mem­ber states of the EU.

“I know this whole process has been a cause of great worry and anx­i­ety for them and their loved ones.

“But I want to re­peat to the 600,000 Ital­ians in the UK – and in­deed to all EU cit­i­zens who have made their lives in our coun­try – that we want you to stay; we value you.

“And we thank you for your con­tri-

‘I want to re­peat to all the EU cit­i­zens who have made their lives in this coun­try that we want you to stay, that we value you’

bu­tion to our na­tional life – and it has been, and re­mains, one of my first goals in this ne­go­ti­a­tion to en­sure you can carry on liv­ing your lives as be­fore.”

Fa­cial scan­ners are in­creas­ingly be­ing used by air­lines to check pas­sen­gers’ iden­ti­ties to speed up board­ing at air­ports.

Ear­lier this year Bri­tish Air­ways in­tro­duced tech­nol­ogy to al­low pas­sen­gers to go through board­ing gates at Heathrow us­ing fa­cial recog­ni­tion. Bio­met­ric de­vices in Ter­mi­nal 5 cap­ture a trav­eller’s fea­tures along with the board­ing pass, then a fa­cial scan at the gate ver­i­fies the per­son’s iden­tity, al­low­ing them to get on the plane with­out show­ing doc­u­ments, BA said.

Am­s­ter­dam Air­port Schiphol and KLM are also tri­alling fa­cial recog­ni­tion techn­nol­ogy at board­ing gates.

Right, Am­ber Rudd, the Home Sec­re­tary, pic­tured yes­ter­day, is over­see­ing plans for bor­der con­trols

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