Don't penalise innocent warns sailing body

The UK Borders Agency are in danger of implementing an E-Borders policy which would be ‘disastrous for us all’, warns RYA legal supremo, Gus Lewis.

As the E-Borders programme is rolled out in the commercial travel sectors the RYA continues to voice its concerns faced by yachtsmen to the UK Borders Agency.

Gus Lewis said: ‘Our role is critical. We need to stay engaged with the Agency in order to best serve our members and the recreational boating community as a whole. Without our engagement it may, through ignorance of the recreational boating sector implement a completely inappropriate scheme that could be disastrous for us all.’

Lewis, added: ‘The RYA does not support the Agency’s proposals to extend the application of the e-Borders programme to yachtsmen and considers that any sea border security programme should be intelligence-led rather than involving blanket monitoring of all cross-border movement.’

The RYA believes that any proposal to secure the UK sea border in relation to recreational boating will only work if it does not

* impose unfair or unreasonable restrictions on boaters

* criminalise law-abiding citizens when they take action in the face of adverse conditions

* impact on the safety of navigation.

‘There are few people that would object to the principle that the Government should seek to secure the UK sea border against terrorist and organised criminal activity. However, the serious concerns are over the mechanism that the Government appears to intend to adopt,’ Lewis concluded.