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
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