Sir Keir Starmer was unable to say how many asylum seekers the UK could take from the rest of Europe under his plan to tackle the migrant Channel crossings crisis.
The Labour leader is today unveiling his small boats blueprint and one of the measures the party is considering is an EU-wide returns agreement.
This is expected to see the UK agree to take a share of asylum seekers reaching Europe in return for the bloc taking back migrants who arrive illegally in Britain having crossed the Channel.
Sir Keir was asked during an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme what number of asylum seekers from Europe he would be happy for the UK to take, but he would not be drawn.
The Labour leader said his focus was on stopping the crossings in the first place by cracking down on people smuggling gangs.
He said: “The question of whether people can then be returned only applies if people are still getting across the Channel and what I want to do is stop the trade… in the first place.”
Health Secretary Steve Barclay attacked Labour’s plan and told Times Radio “it’s no surprise that Keir Starmer wants to give up control of our immigration policy to the EU and let them decide what quotas we have to take”.
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