MEP encounters border checks for first time

EU flags fly at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels
EU flags fly at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels

A unionist MEP yesterday said that he had been confronted with passport checks in Strasbourg at the weekend – and has questioned what the Paris atrocities will mean for free movement in the EU.

UUP man Jim Nicholson, one of the Province’s three MEPs, said when taking a flight to Strasbourg for an upcoming European parliamentary session, “I witnessed passport control between two countries in the Schengen border area”.

He added: “Similar scenes were reported at Brussels ‘Midi’ Station this morning as passengers travelling to France had to present their passports upon arrival.

“It is becoming clear that Schengen [the agreement to allow free movement across borders in Europe] as we know it may not last for much longer.

“I welcome the move by the French authorities. If European Member States do not secure their borders, they will always have a fundamental weakness in the fight against the terrorist threat.”

He went on to commend the Belgian authorities as they continued the hunt for those behind the bloodshed in Paris on November 13.