Trump's controversial ban could be enforced on UK soil if new measures go ahead
Negotiations between the British Government and US officials could allow UK airports to introduce American immigration, customs and agriculture inspections for passengers travelling to the US.
Professor Mary Bosworth from Oxford University, told BuzzFeed News she believes the pre-clearance measures would act like “a little bit of America on another country’s soil”.
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Ms Bosworth, an expert in migration law, said: “In practical terms it would mean that US border guards would carry out US border policies on British soil.
“And so, yes, in light of President Trump’s executive order ban on refugees and travellers from those seven countries, that would be enforced here in Britain.”
The UK Reacts To Trump's 'Muslim' Travel Ban Mon, January 30, 2017
President Trump signed an executive order banning immigration to the USA from seven 'muslim' countries. This led to protests across America and, now, the UK.
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People demonstrate during a protest at Downing Street in central London against US President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries
In practical terms it would mean that US border guards would carry out US border policies on British soil
The pre-clearance plans could be introduced at Manchester, Edinburgh and London Heathrow airports, but could eventually be rolled out across all UK airports offering flights to the US.
The measures are already in place at Ireland’s Dublin and Shannon airports and there are similar pre-clearance systems in Canada, the UAE and the Caribbean.
There are plans to extend the measures to countries including Belgium, Norway, Spain, Japan and Britain, although the Netherlands recently pulled out of pre-screening discussions following Trump’s controversial travel ban.
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Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, is among those tipped to trial the pre-clearance measures
Irish prime minister Enda Kenny has also pledged a “complete review” of the country’s pre-clearance system in the wake of the travel ban, which has resulted in protests across the world.
Talks to extend pre-clearance to British airports started under the Obama administration in 2015 and the Home Office told Buzzfeed News discussions are ongoing, while there has been no change to UK immigration rules.
Thousands of people across the UK have protested against Trump's controversial ban
Former US secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, said at the time: “A significant homeland security priority of mine is building more pre-clearance capacity at airports overseas. We have this now in 15 airports.
“I am pleased that we are seeking negotiations with ten new airports in nine countries. I want to take every opportunity we have to push our homeland security out beyond our borders so that we are not defending the homeland from the one-yard line.
“Pre-clearance is a win-win for the traveling public. It provides aviation and homeland security, and it reduces wait times upon arrival at the busiest US airports.”
While the measures are likely to take years to introduce, Trump has claimed the travel ban for refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries could be extended and even broadened, to include countries such as Pakistan.
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