EU passports that allow holders to travel freely across the continent and easy access to the UK are being offered for sale on the black market, a Justice Minister has warned.
Dominic Raab said the Britain must leave the European Union (EU) if it is to regain control of its borders and ensure security.
His comments prompted fears that terrorists may be able to get hold of passports and travel across the EU’s open-borders zone.
The Mail quotes Mr Raab as saying: “At the moment, we can’t bar anyone in possession of an EU passport or identity card unless they represent a ‘genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat’ to our security.”
“Even if that high threshold is met, we have to disclose the reasons to the individual barred, even if that itself could endanger national security.”
He added that he had seen evidence of a Cyprus-based estate agent journal advertising passports for sale.
“This shows open, flagrant selling of EU passports,” he said. “Once people buy these EU passports and with it citizenship of an EU member state, they have the automatic right to come to the UK because of ‘free movement’.
“Given this is already happening at scale, imagine how much worse this problem will be after the next wave of EU accessions.”
His comments come as it was revealed Prime Minister David Cameron had previously promised to “pave the road from Ankara and Brussels” and “fight” for Turkey to join the EU despite now claiming Turkish EU accession was “decades away”.
Back in 2010, after just becoming Prime Minister, Mr Cameron said on a trip to Turkey: “It makes me angry that your progress towards EU membership can be frustrated in the way that it has been.”
“This is something I feel very strongly and very passionately about. Together I want us to pave the road from Ankara to Brussels.”
Rumours are now circulating that Mr Cameron may promise a referendum on Turkish EU membership in the last days of the campaign this month.