The Daily Telegraph

‘Terror threat’ over sale of EU passports


CYPRUS is selling EU passports for just €4,000, it has emerged.

Michael Gove, the Justice Secretary, and Dominic Raab, a justice minister, said advertisem­ents in a Cypriot magazine promising “the fastest EU citizenshi­p service in the world” show that the EU’s borders are weak and threaten UK security.

A Vote Leave spokesman said Isis militants can “easily afford” to pay for such passports, allowing them access to the UK because of lax border checks.

The magazine is promising wealthy overseas investors a passport in return for around €4,000, investment in property and a fee paid to the Government. It allows people from outside the union to become full passport holders within three months, meaning they can move around the bloc and live and work in the UK without having to apply for a visa.

In a speech in London, Mr Raab highlighte­d the “flagrant selling of passports” and warned the problem will get worse after the next wave of accessions to the EU.

He added: “At the moment, we can’t bar anyone in possession of an EU passport or identity card unless they represent a ‘genuine, present and sufficient­ly serious threat’ to our security.

“Even if that high threshold is met, we have to disclose the reasons to the individual barred, even if that itself could endanger national security.”

Bulgaria, Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro and Spain all offer similar passport schemes.

It came as Mr Gove accused the Prime Minister and the EU of “appeasing” Turkey. He warned that Britain will not get a vote on whether Turkey joins the union, despite David Cameron’s promise to the contrary.

He said that the threat of terrorism is “growing”, adding that opening border-free travel with Turkey would only increase risks.

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