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Labour to Axe Rwanda Deportation Plan and Bolster Border Security, Starmer Pledges



Sir Keir Starmer is confident that the Rwanda deportation flights will commence, yet he asserts that the Labour Party would immediately terminate the program if they come to power. He has detailed his party's strategy to address illegal immigration, which involves abolishing the Rwanda plan and establishing a new Border Security Command.

Journalist focused on politics @alixculbertson

Friday, May 10, 2024, 4:

Sir Keir Starmer has expressed certainty that the government will successfully initiate flights to Rwanda, yet he affirmed that Labour plans to immediately terminate the program should they be victorious in the upcoming general election.

The head of the Labour Party, while unveiling his party's stance on unlawful immigration in Dover, declared that the government's principal strategy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda is ineffective.

"He's confident that the planes will take off, but he's equally sure that the plan will fail," he said.

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Speaking to Sky News' political editor Beth Rigby, he confirmed that under a Labour government, the Rwanda deportation policy would be terminated immediately, stating: "We will scrap the Rwanda scheme."

"I mentioned this to you during our previous encounters, including last week and the time before that, which implies we should conclude the program.

"Definitely. Including the plane tickets."

He further stated, "We will abandon the plan – naturally, this implies we won't implement the plan whatsoever; it's merely a stunt, and I refuse to waste efforts on something futile."

"We're going to immediately eliminate the policy."

Labour subsequently explained that while the party would not cancel existing flight plans, it would refrain from arranging any additional flights.

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The UK government's policy intended to discourage asylum seekers from crossing the Channel by relocating them to Rwanda has been delayed due to legal challenges. Although it was officially enacted last month, no flights have taken place as of yet.

Under the plan, asylum seekers who arrive in the UK unlawfully from a secure nation like France could be deported to Rwanda to have their asylum requests evaluated. These individuals would not have the option to seek reentry into the UK.

During the announcement of Labour's strategies to halt the influx of small boats, a Sky News team observed a Border Force vessel disembarking around 70 migrants, among them at least one child, in Dover after their rescue from the Channel.

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During a speech in Dover with newly elected Labour MP Natalie Elphicke, Sir Keir emphasized the need for an overhaul of "our asylum system."

Under Labour's strategy, he declared:

• The establishment of a new Border Security Command, financed by discontinuing the Rwanda initiative, will consist of "hundreds of specialist investigators" drawn from agencies such as the NCA, Border Force, CPS, MI5, and Immigration Enforcement.

• Expectations for forming a collaboration with Europol and establishing new networks for sharing intelligence

• Enhanced anti-terrorism measures enabling border agents to perform stop-and-search operations, freeze bank accounts, monitor travel, and cut off internet connectivity for individuals involved in human trafficking.

• An asylum process governed by strict regulations, featuring expedited procedures, a dedicated enforcement division, and a repatriation deal with the European Union.

In the latest political developments, the Prime Minister announced that the economy is on the upswing following the end of the recession. Meanwhile, Scotland's newly appointed

Can Labour's Latest Strategy Attract Electorate?

By Darren McCaffrey, Political Correspondent

Following the release of strong GDP numbers today, the Labour Party sought an alternative narrative to respond to the Conservatives' celebrations.

Sir Keir Starmer traveled to Dover to detail how a Labour government would address the issue of small boats, outlining specific plans and strategies.

Additional funding, the recruitment of numerous specialist detectives, and the engagement of counter-terrorism units are key elements of the initiative, which will be financed by the savings accrued from discontinuing the Conservative Party's Rwanda project.

It's intriguing to see Starmer now displaying enough confidence to not only address the topic of illegal migration—a subject typically outside the traditional Labour domain—but also to directly challenge the government on what he perceives as a vulnerable issue.

It highlights Starmer's robust position within the Labour Party and underscores the Conservatives' apparent vulnerabilities concerning illegal immigration.

The Rwandan policy, in theory, enjoys substantial support among many citizens. Therefore, if the Labour Party decides to discard it in favor of the notably less spectacular option unveiled today, it raises an important question: Will their strategy resonate with the electorate?

The leader of the Labour Party stated, "We are committed to reinstating a responsible government at our borders, addressing the issue from its origin, and permanently replacing the Rwanda policy."

Ignoring human trafficking is neither forward-thinking nor humane, Sir Keir stated.

He stated that "our asylum system needs to be reconstructed and our borders need to be protected," while criticizing the Tories for shifting from a credible governing party to being caught up in "the illusions of their own making" as they engage in "symbolic politics" regarding immigration issues.

"Sir Keir emphasized that our regulatory framework should be in sync with international standards that safeguard personal freedoms."

"It aligns with our goals and is the correct course of action."

Sir Keir declared that the recent switch by new Labour MP Ms. Elphicke from the Conservatives to his party on Wednesday signifies the nation's sentiment as Rishi Sunak struggles to maintain his hold on leadership.

When questioned about potential negative reactions from Labour members regarding Ms. Elphicke's switch, he remarked, "This is a crucial and notable defection for the reasons Natalie mentioned."

"It seems clear to any reader of her statements today that this is a major issue. The Conservative party is experiencing a decline in votes, members of parliament, local council members, and mayors nationwide."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak labeled Sir Keir's proposal as "rank hypocrisy," stating that all the measures the Labour leader outlined today are initiatives his government is already implementing.

"He mentioned that increasing the number of law enforcement officers and having them intensify their efforts to tackle the backlog is already underway."

"Over a year ago, we made those announcements. If this truly matters to Keir Starmer, then why did he oppose the recent legislation that we enacted to equip our police force with enhanced capabilities?"

Authorities have utilized these measures to apprehend nearly 8,000 individuals involved in unlawful migration, collectively sentencing them to several hundred years of incarceration.

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In response to Sir Keir's statement, Home Secretary James Cleverly commented, "Labour lacks any strategy to halt the boats.

Labour has proposed an amnesty for undocumented immigrants, obstructed the deportation of violent sexual offenders, and voted against stricter laws aimed at halting illegal boat crossings more than 130 times. Their policies will provide a sanctuary for criminal organizations rather than eliminating them.

"Even members of the Labour Party are admitting that Labour lacks the capability to halt the influx of boats, indicating that no improvements will be made.

"Allowing individuals to seek asylum from outside the UK could lead to an infinite number of applications, a significant portion of which might legally require acceptance. Furthermore, many whose applications are rejected might still attempt to enter the UK via small boats."

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