Naked fury for flyers

PUBLISHED: 12:19 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:55 10 June 2010

EAST Devon holidaymakers flying out of Exeter Airport could be subjected to humiliating full body scans, a Euro MP has warned. Conservative Neil Parish, an MEP for the South West, has warned of proposals to introduce full' body scanners at all European airports - which would show a person's naked image and genitalia.

EAST Devon holidaymakers flying out of Exeter Airport could be subjected to humiliating full body scans, a Euro MP has warned.

Conservative Neil Parish, an MEP for the South West, has warned of proposals to introduce 'full' body scanners at all European airports - which would show a person's naked image and genitalia.

He said the proposals, a tool in the battle against terrorism, illegal immigration and organised crime, raises 'serious concerns' about human rights, privacy and personal dignity.

Conservative MEPs secured a debate in the European Parliament last week, in which the European commission heard concerns about the scanners being used as an additional security check.

They asked for clarification on the measures that will be put in place to protect personal data - but MEPs also demanded that the commission submit the proposals to the full scrutiny of the European Parliament.

Currently they intend to insert body scanners using the 'comitology' procedure - without a vote in the parliament, equivalent of delegated powers used by local authorities.

This would mean EU member states - including Westminster - would not be allowed to object, and would have no right of veto.

Mr Parish said: "Many travellers will consider these scanners an enormous intrusion.

"There may be some benefit in having body scanners in our airports, but they should be a last resort and a substitution for a strip search, not a random sample of innocent holidaymakers.

"The European Commission is attempting to introduce these measures without consulting national governments or MEPs, and that is simply unacceptable given the considerable concerns.

"There is a growing anxiety that the EU is seen as a tool for challenging basic liberties, without the usual scrutiny and accountability provided at the ballot box.

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