Published On: Fri, May 10th, 2024
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Keir Starmer’s small boat plans would make UK ‘asylum capital of the world’, Tories warn | Politics | News

Sir Keir Starmer‘s plan to tackle small boats would make the UK “the asylum capital of the world”, the Tories have claimed.

The Labour leader used a speech on the Kent coast today to unveil his party’s proposals to get a grip on the Channel crisis.

Sir Keir vowed to scrap the flagship Rwanda policy and instead set up a new “elite Border Security Command” to treat people smugglers in the same way as terrorists.

But Home Secretary James Cleverly said: “Labour have no plan to stop the boats.

“Labour have an illegal immigration amnesty, Labour blocked of the deportation of violent sexual offenders and Labour voted over 130 times against tougher legislation to stop the boats.

“They will create a haven for criminal gangs, not stop them. Even Labour MPs are saying Labour can’t be trusted to stop the boats which shows you nothing will change.

“If people can apply for asylum from outside the UK then unlimited claims can be made, many of which will have to be accepted under the law and even then, many of those declined will then get on a small boat anyway.

“Labour’s announcement would make the UK the asylum capital of the world.”

Speaking in Dover alongside local MP Natalie Elphicke who controversially defected from the Tories to Labour on Wednesday, Sir Keir said his party will end the Rwanda policy permanently and establish a border security command that will be an “elite force, not a Cinderella service”.

The Labour leader said: “We will restore serious government to our borders, tackle this problem at source and replace the Rwanda policy permanently.”

In a message to smuggling gangs, he added: “These shores will become hostile territory for you – we will find you. We will stop you. We will protect your victims with the Border Security Command. We will secure Britain’s borders.”

Some 8,826 migrants have arrived in the UK after crossing the Channel so far this year, provisional Home Office figures show.

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