Shadow Immigration Minister slams Tory migration plans claiming it 'won't work' and will 'compound the situation'

7 March 2023, 09:54

Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock slams the Prime Minister's proposed migrant policy

By Anna Fox

Branding the government's new approach to the migration ‘crisis’ as ‘groundhog day’ and ‘recycled rhetoric’, Stephen Kinnock slams the proposed legislation, claiming it will ‘compound the situation'.

A new law introducing harsh measures to deter migrants from crossing the channel on small boats will be presented to parliament today.

If the new legislation is implemented, those that attempt to reach the UK via the Channel will be removed to a third country such as Rwanda and banned from returning.

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The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman said the bill would stretch “the boundaries of international law” without “breaking it”.

But Labour's Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock fiercely criticised Boris Johnson for “botching” Brexit negotiations, outlining to Tom Swarbrick how the UK’s departure from the EU involved “leaving the Dublin convention”, which he explains “enabled us to return people who had come on unauthorised routes to safe countries that they'd come through”.

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Rishi Sunak prioritised halting the flow of migrant boats crossing the channel as one of his top five priorities as Prime Minister after 45,756 people embarked on the voyage last year alone.

The Shadow Immigration Minister believes the proposed legislation will “compound the problem”, arguing it will “add to the backlog” and exacerbate the already mounting cost of housing asylum seekers in “unsuitable accommodation”.

If the new plans are approved, the home secretary's "duty to remove" would supersede in law someone's ability to claim asylum. However, there would be exemptions for those aged under 18 and those with significant medical conditions.

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Despite the bill not becoming law for several months, it means individuals arriving in the country illegally from Tuesday will be at risk of deportation under the legislation.

Mr Kinnock explained to Tom that the legislation “is fundamentally trying to throw some red meat to Tory backbenchers” rather than “getting on with the hard yards of negotiating a returns deal with the European Union, cracking down on the criminal gangs and clearing the backlog”.