Sir Keir Starmer admits Labour’s small boats plan could open the door to more asylum seekers from the EU


Labour Leader wants small boats deal with EU

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour Leader, has admitted that his party's plan to tackle illegal channel crossings could potentially lead to an increase in asylum seekers from the EU. In an interview with HOAR, Starmer expressed his desire to strike a small boat returns deal with Brussels, allowing Britain to send small boat arrivals back to the European states they came from. However, this deal would also require the Home Office to accept a share of asylum seekers from the EU.

Return agreement needs negotiation

Discussing the potential for a return agreement, Starmer stated, "There needs to be a returns agreement. That will have to be negotiated. The PM himself said that he wants a returns agreement. In opposition, I'm not in a position to negotiate that, nor have I spoken to anyone about that."

Government hits back at Labour's plans

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, criticized Labour's plans, claiming that seeking assistance from Brussels would open the floodgates to 100,000 European migrants. In response, Starmer dismissed the accusation, stating, "The government is so worried that they’ve resorted to this tactic of pumping out complete nonsense. I'm not talking about a returns agreement today. That is something to be separately negotiated. I can't do that because I'm in opposition."

Sir Keir's proposal to tackle people smuggling

Starmer has pledged to stop the boats by targeting the people smuggling trade. He plans to work with European crime fighters Europol and order British intelligence agency GCHQ to monitor gang plans. He will present this proposal, known as the "Security Agreement with Europe," at talks with French president Emmanuel Macron next week. The scheme would be funded by reallocating the funds currently earmarked for the Rwanda deportation plan.

Cabinet Ministers dismiss Labour's plan

Cabinet Ministers, including Rishi Sunak and Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick, have criticized Labour's proposals. Sunak accused Starmer of consistently voting against the government's efforts to stop illegal migration and claimed that Labour's plan would lead to accepting over 100,000 EU migrants each year. In agreement, Jenrick called the proposals a "recipe for even more illegal migration."