Labour’s plans to tackle the migrant crisis would involve Britain having to open its doors to “millions” if it hoped to stop the small boats, a senior Home Office source has warned. While the UK saw 45,000 enter across the English Channel last year, this has been described as “a drop in the ocean” compared to what would be required if Sir Keir Starmer enters Downing Street.
In particular, the Home Office source pointed to Labour’s pledge to open up “safe legal routes” for people wishing to claim asylum or come to the UK.
The source said: “We would have to take millions before we had any hope of stopping the small boats.
“Why would people want to join a queue to wait when they can jump the queue across the Channel?
“Unless we took millions of migrants there would be no hope of stopping the boats.”
The source also scorned Labour’s pledge to increase funding for the agencies tasked with stopping people smugglers.
They said: “We have already doubled funding for this, but unfortunately, you just can’t stop this upstream.
“We can send people into Germany or other countries to arrest people like that.”
Labour yesterday set out a five-point plan to reform the asylum system after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman unveiled tough news laws to get a grip on Channel crossings.
The plan included cracking down on smuggler gangs, clearing the asylum backlog, reforming legal routes for refugees, working with France on returns, and tackling humanitarian crises at the source.
Using the Dublin Agreement on asylum seekers as proposed by Labour would also not work according to the source because Britain already accepts migrants on a 3:1 ratio.
Conservative MPs have also criticised the proposals by Sir Keir’s party.
Former minister Jonathan Gullis said: “Labour has no plan to tackle these illegal economic migrants.
“The supposed action points amount to nothing more than let’s keep the boats coming over, let’s keep accepting at least 70 percent of those who arrive and let’s just give France tons more money to do nothing other than watch the boats come across the English Channel and into English waters.
“Labour cannot and will never be trusted on taking back control of our borders, particularly when led by someone who is so obsessed with keeping us trapped inside the EU and trying to overturn a democratic mandate, the largest ever political mandate in history, which was voting to leave the EU.”
Red Wall MP Marco Longhi added: “Labour started the immigration crisis under Blair when he said that only 25,000 would enter the UK with his open border policies – 250,000 arrived that year.
“Nobody will ever believe Labour on immigration, legal or otherwise, because everybody knows they always want more. They have zero credibility.
“They talk about cracking down on smugglers but they know that criminals always find another way – the only way to stop it is by removing the demand for their services – which will happen when we actually deport people. The message must be: ‘Come to the UK illegally, go to Rwanda’. That will destroy the smugglers’ billion pound business.”
It comes after the Prime Minister yesterday set out plans for fresh laws to curb Channel crossings.
Mr Sunak – who has made tackling the issue one of his top five priorities – said that migrants arriving in the UK illegally would be removed “within weeks” and face a lifetime ban on returning under the Illegal Migration Bill.
He told a Downing Street press conference: “People must know that if they come here illegally, it will result in their detention and swift removal. Once this happens, and they know it will happen, they will not come and the boats will stop.”
Mr Sunak said the laws will make it “clear that if you come here illegally, you can’t claim asylum”.
The PM added: “You can’t benefit from our modern slavery protection, you can’t make serious human rights claims and you can’t stay.
“We will detain those who come here illegally and then remove them in weeks, either to their own country if it is safe to do so or to a safe third country like Rwanda.
“And once you are removed, you will be banned – as you are in America and Australia – from ever re-entering our country.”
But Labour’s shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper this morning said the Tories are “being irresponsible” in dealing with migrant policy.
Ms Cooper told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think that they are being irresponsible in the way they’re doing this.
“Time and again they go for the gimmicks, they go for the rhetoric, they ramp up the debate on this, but they don’t actually solve the problem.”
*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.