Keir Starmer unveiled how he would tackle the UK’s immigration and asylum issues if elected. Promising a fresh approach, he aims to crack down on people-smuggling gangs and work more closely with the European Union. What are the key elements of this new proposal, and how does it differ from the government’s approach?
W hen it comes to immigration, it is a topic that is rarely out of the headlines and always at the forefront of political debates. On Thursday, Labour leader Keir Starmer stepped into the spotlight, laying out his plans on this contentious issue. What makes this especially relevant is how different Labour’s proposals are from the current government’s approach, led by Rishi Sunak.
Let’s dive in and break down what Starmer is bringing to the table.
What Is Labour’s Plan?
Keir Starmer and his colleague Yvette Cooper recently visited The Hague to discuss their strategies with Europol, the European Union’s police agency. Starmer didn’t talk about going back on Brexit but focused on enhancing Britain’s cooperation with the European Union. He suggested a possible deal with the EU, where the UK would agree to take in a certain number of asylum seekers. In return, Britain could send back individuals who illegally cross the Channel into the UK.
Additionally, Labour wants to speed up the decision-making process for asylum applications by hiring more caseworkers. Currently, there is a backlog of over 175,000 applications, and Starmer believes more staffing can solve this problem.
“What we are looking to do as an objective is a returns agreement.
“At the moment, the government is in a position to return people already to particular countries. They are not fast-tracking that situation. They’re not doing that competently.
“What we would be looking for is management and control of the system, which is absolutely vital and not there at the moment under this government.
“Our position is that net migration has been too high in the UK and we want to see that coming down. That’s our overall position and that’s something we’d obviously take into any negotiation with the EU.”
— Nick Thomas-Symonds, Shadow Cabinet Office Minister