Immigration: 'The majority of young men coming across on those boats are not net contributors and never will be'

TalkTV's Julia Hartley-Brewer has accused the majority of asylum seekers arriving on British shores of "not being net contributors".

This comes as Keir Starmer has revealed he would seek an EU-wide returns agreement for asylum seekers who come to Britain, as he vowed his party would be "twice as ruthless to smash the gangs and secure British borders".

The Labour leader travelled to The Hague on Thursday to meet with Europol in an effort to strike a deal deal with the agency for a future Labour government, which would seek to stop gangs bringing people across the channel in small boats.

Labour said that any deal made with Brussels would be "quid pro quo" and the government claims a returns policy could lead to the UK taking "100,000 illegal migrants" every year.

Julia had a heated debate with immigration expert Louise Calvey about how such a deal would be able to break the people smuggler business model.

Julia said: "The EU says we've got a million people like we had last year arriving on European shores.

"And the UK as part of this deal outside the EU, you get this many and we just have those people they arrive here, are you under the illusion these people are going to arrive here and suddenly be net contributors?"

"They're not going to be eligible for counsellor housing. They're not gonna be eligible for unemployment benefits. Why do you think suddenly we're not going to be having to deal with the cost that we've got currently these people?"

Ms Calvey responded: "Well presumably people would have the right to work, having the right to work is critical here."

"They come here because they have family here, they have links or ties here, and they want to rebuild their lives here. Ultimately, there are better systems that enable people to be economically active and part of our country."

But Julia replied, "Are they going to be net contributors? Having someone working in a car wash on minimum wage is no use whatsoever to the British people!"

Ms Calvery said: "Refugees have worked in all sorts of professions in the UK and continue to do so."

Julia said: "The majority of the young men coming across on those boats right now are not net contributors and never will be."

<strong>Migrants are pictured aboard of a Royal National Lifeboat Institution / Credit: Getty Images</strong>

Sir Keir indicated he could be prepared to do a deal with Brussels which would involve the UK taking a quota of asylum seekers who arrive in the bloc in exchange for the ability to return people who cross the English Channel.

But he insisted that his focus was on ensuring that an anti-terrorism-style international crackdown could smash the gangs behind the “vile” trade, preventing people leaving in small boats from France in the first place.

Ms Calvey said to Julia: "I get it. You want border control. If you want manage borders, if you want border control, then you have to get a grip on the safe routes crisis. This isn't a boat crisis. It's a safe route crisis."

"If you don't want to provide safe routes, you will continue to have high levels of irregular migration."

Julia said: “You can provide all the safe routes you want, there will still be young men who are going to get on rickety boats and pay thousands of pounds to people smugglers!"