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Britain abolishes UK Border Agency

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British home secretary Theresa May has announced plan to scrap the beleaguered UK Border Agency and bring it back within the Home Office.

Theresa May made the announcement in her talks to MPs at the House of Commons, adding that she will also split the “closed and secretive” agency into an immigration and visa service and a separate law enforcement command.

The new apparatus will be brought back under the direct control of ministers, she said.

The home secretary said that the UK Border Agency (UKBA) was “a troubled organisation … its performance was not good enough”.

May explained that UKBA had four main problems including its size, its lack of transparency, its IT systems and its policy and legal framework.

“UKBA was given agency status in order to keep its work at an arm’s length from ministers. That was wrong,” said May. “It created a closed, secretive and defensive culture. The new entities will not have agency status and will sit in the Home Office, reporting to ministers.”

She added that the immigration agency has been such a “troubled organisation” for so many years that it will take many more years to clear the backlogs, which now top more than 310,000 cases, and fix the system.


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