Julia Hartley-Brewer: 'The Labour Party want an open borders policy!'

TalkTV's Julia Hartley-Brewer has slammed Keir Starmer's measures for tackling immigration, accusing the Labour Party of wanting an "open borders policy".

Sir Keir has said people-smuggling should be treated “on a par” with terrorism, as he promised new measures aimed at preventing small boat crossings if Labour wins the next general election.

Deepening intelligence ties with Europe as part of a new post-Brexit security pact and strengthening powers to restrict the movement of those suspected of organised immigration crime would form part of the plan.

The Labour leader said: “The first job of any government is national security – protecting the British people from threats that come from here and overseas.

“The Government’s failure to tackle the criminal smuggling gangs orchestrating boat crossings is now so profound that I believe it needs to be considered on a par with the other three big security threats we face: climate change, hostile foreign powers and terrorism.”

As part of its plans, Labour says it would work to reach a new agreement to share real-time intelligence with the EU similar to the Schengen Information System II, a database of terror suspects and immigration offenders which the UK had automatic access to before Brexit.

Julia said: "We'd be in the exact same position we were in before we left the EU. Maybe there's a clue there, we know Keir Starmer as the Shadow Brexit Secretary was the man most intent on keeping us in the EU, stopping the Brexit referendum being enacted.

"Come on in, the water is lovely, that's what he's going to be saying to every single person who doesn't fancy their life elsewhere. Is this what the British people want? I highly doubt it."

"Keir Starmer and the Labour party, if they get into power will have what they've always wanted, an open border policy."

The Labour party has also vowed to strengthen powers to restrict the movement of people smugglers by making it quicker and easier to obtain civil orders, known as serious crime prevention orders, which are used to target offenders such as terrorists and drug traffickers.

More British officers would be stationed in Europe under the plans, with a “cross-border police force” focused solely on disrupting criminal gangs, Labour said.

In an interview with The Times newspaper, Sir Keir said he would also seek an EU-wide returns agreement for asylum seekers who arrive in Britain, which may involve a “quid pro quo” of accepting quotas of migrants from the bloc.

Funding for the measures would be redirected from the Government’s Rwanda plan, which is currently held up in the courts following a series of legal challenges.

The plan is intended to deter Channel crossings by sending some asylum seekers arriving in Britain to the nation or another “safe third country”, but critics have branded it unworkable.

Sir Keir is seeking to emphasise his credentials as former director of public prosecutions during a visit to The Hague with shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper this week.

Taking a hard-line stance on immigration crime will be seen as important to convince swing voters that Labour can be trusted to stem the number of Channel crossings, which has passed 23,000 in 2023, in the run-up to a general election expected next year.

“My Labour government will be twice as ruthless, to smash the gangs and secure British borders,” Sir Keir said.

“These criminal smuggling gangs are growing fat on the Government’s failures, while the Tories ramp up empty rhetoric around illegal immigration for cheap headlines.”