The news that Theresa May might lead the Out EU campaign, can only elicit hollow laughter. It is May who ripped away our secure border defences. Not only that, she bungled the matter so badly, it has cost the country millions.Theresa May has presided over record numbers of immigration, and during the time of the Coalition, everything that would have protected the UK, such as measures to fight radicalisation, were shelved. Nick Clegg ruled the roost and unlike Boris Johnson whom nobody could have silenced if he thought the UK in danger, from Theresa May not a peep.
Because of her woeful record, May was heavily criticised for her anti-immigration speech at the Tory Conference. The Daily Telegraph called it “chilling and bitter“. The Guardian said she was flattened by business for “irresponsible rhetoric” as usual putting the interests of the country second to playing party politics.
Most scathing of all was Fraser Nelson in the Spectator , who pointed out Theresa was lambasting her own record.
e-Borders was an advanced passenger information programme which aimed to collect and store information on passengers and crew entering and leaving the UK. Passengers details were to be checked against terror and criminal watch lists before being stored on the e-borders database. Due to European law on free movement EU carriers and ports supply information to the UK Border Agency on a voluntary basis, however in March 2012 Damian Green said that by April e-Borders would be collecting information an all passengers on 100% of non-EEA flights to the UK. In 2014 it was announced that the system would be scrapped.
Staff believe this could have been a crucial and successful weapon in the fight against terror. The sysstem would have given us crucial secure border controls.
In August 2014, the Home Office was ordered to pay Raytheon Systems £220 million for illegally cancelling the contract. The bungled contract, worth around £750 million in total, was junked by May in 2010, at which point it had cost the taxpayer £259.3 million including £195 million in supplier costs.
In February 2015, the Home Office won the appeal, although legal costs were £36.4 million, but furious Raytheon counter-sued.
In March of this year, the Home Office paid Raytheon £150 million to try to get out of the mess. This is on top of the £35 million legal costs. And we have lost a system that would have given us secure border controls, when we needed them most.
UpDate: After a series of dreadful immigration crises, where is May, asks Peter Oborne.