So, a no-checks policy at ports-of-entry goes back to 2008/2009. That's the bombshell dropped by Brodie Clark, the suspended and now self-sacked Border Force chief. It seems, then, that the hapless Home Secretary made the naive, fatal error of assuming that the Borders & Immigration Agency actually works; that it actually carries out any sort of effective border control.
Naturally, nobody normally would assume that an organisation could so self-undermine its own brief, but the BIA and the Home Office does not accept that immigration control is something that can be done. It therefore runs what it imagines appears from a distance to be just about a plausible excuse for an immigration system, with the odd media stunt and lots of news management. But that's it.
The Borders & Immigration Agency is akin to all those blow-up fake tanks and wooden aircraft mock-ups that were set up near Dover to con the Germans towards the end of World war II that D-Day would be across the Dover Straits. The actual invasion force was further down the south coast massing in preparation to hit Normandy, of course. Unfortunately, the analogy breaks down there, because we don't have the equivalent of the real invasion force. We have only the Border Force mock-up. We don't have the real immigration control and administration service.
The chickens are staring to come home to roost regarding the most senior figures at the BIA / Home Office. After all, Brodie Clark himself headed up the branch of the BIA responsible for ports-of-entry. But the culprits higher up than Brodie Clark seem to be making him the fall guy: The new BIA chief executive, Rob Whiteman, has gone on record that Brodie Clark told him that he had exceeded Teresa May's instructions. Well of course he must have done so, if a no-checks policy was already in place long before Mrs May's Government had even been elected!