Govt to end abuse of immigration system

The government is legislating for the “biggest shake-up” to UK border security for more than three decades.

Gordon Brown told MPs in his draft Queen’s speech the “robust and fair” legislation in the citizenship, immigration and borders bill would end the abuse of Britain’s immigration system.

The prime minister insisted migration was benefiting the country’s economy and enriching its culture but accepted the government faced serious challenges.

He pledged tougher action to attack the causes of illegal immigration and faster deportations for those with no right to remain in the UK.

Mr Brown also explained immigrants would have to earn the right to become a British citizen.

He continued to insist a triple ring of security for the borders would be installed, including a visa regime with fingerprint checks, electronic screening against no-fly lists and ID cards for foreign nationals.

“The bill would ensure border protection officials have the right powers at the right time, including powers to cancel visas at foreign airports, tougher, simpler powers of detention [and] powers to tackle organised crime,” Mr Brown said.