Monday, October 06, 2014

Ebola and the UK's lax border controls

The Sunday Mirror reports an estimate that the first human carrier of the Ebola disease could reach Britain by the end of the month. "It’s only a matter of time before one of these cases ends up on a plane to Europe," says the virus expert.

One of the things that makes this plague fearsome, apart from the terrible suffering of its victims and the high mortality rate, is the long incubation period of up to three weeks, which means that infection can spread very widely before it is detected.

This highlights the need for border security and as chance would have it, last Tuesday's edition of Radio 4's "File on 4" was on that subject:

"Border Security: All at Sea

"How well are Britain's borders patrolled and defended at a time when the authorities are battling to stem the flow of illegal immigrants coming across the Channel and tightening national security because of fears of a terrorist attack by extremists returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq?

"Allan Urry assesses the vulnerability of our ports, struggling with cuts to Border Force personnel and problems with a computer system that was supposed to have identified all those coming into and going out of the UK. The programme reveals how security checks on cargo are being compromised and hears concern about the gaps in surveillance of our coastline."

Click here to access the programme.

So, not just by air, but also by sea perhaps - in a container full of stowaways who've paid a fortune to get here, or under a lorry coming over the Channel from Calais, or through the Tunnel.

Will we have to wait until COBRA meets on some remote Scottish island while plague rages in the country, or will our political elite finally put away their surfboards and get down to some serious work?


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A K Haart said...

"Will we have to wait until COBRA meets on some remote Scottish island while plague rages in the country"

Is that why Cameron was so keen on a "no" vote?

James Higham said...

Isn't it interesting how the border controls are so lax and then, in the case of skilled workers from first world nations, suddenly they become Draconian.