Priti orders wide-ranging review of Border Force

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Home Secretary Priti Patel. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street.

Review will cover all areas of Border Force’s work, including illegal migration, customs and national security.

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has ordered a wide-ranging, independent review of Border Force to assess its structure, powers, funding and priorities to ensure it can keep pace with rapidly evolving threats and continue to protect the border, maintain security and prevent illegal migration.

The review will be carried out by Alexander Downer as an Independent Reviewer. Mr. Downer has a wealth of relevant experience to bring to this review, having previously served as Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs. He is currently Executive Chair at the International School for Government, King’s College London.

The first of its kind since Border Force was set up, the wide-ranging review is expected to take several months to complete. It will ensure the UK government is prepared for future challenges at the border, by identifying change and improvements needed across Border Force’s work on illegal migration, customs and national security to help keep the UK safe, secure and prosperous.

Home Secretary, Priti Patel said:

Border Force officers work tirelessly to protect our borders at 140 sea and air ports right across the UK.

Since Border Force was set up in 2011, its remit has grown to meet the changing border threats we face, and in recent years has supported delivery of the government’s Brexit commitments and COVID-19 measures.

The public rightly expects this work to be carried out to the highest possible standard, which is why I have ordered this review of Border Force to identify ways in which it can keep improving its operations.

I have appointed Alexander Downer to do this vital work and look forward to his findings and recommendations.

Any further details on the review will be set out by the Independent Reviewer in due course.

Independent Reviewer of Border Force, Alexander Downer said:

I am delighted that the Home Secretary has asked me to lead an independent review of Border Force, to ensure the UK’s border is protected from the changing threats of today, and prepared for future challenges.

As an Independent Reviewer, I plan to lead a review that is robust, evidence-based and outcome-orientated.

I look forward to assessing Border Force’s structure, powers, funding and priorities, and hearing from a wide range of voices from across the organisation and beyond.

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