The Rwanda law is an extortionately expensive gimmick rather than a serious plan to tackle dangerous boat crossings. It will cost British taxpayers more than half a billion pounds for just 300 people.

Instead of spending £2 million per asylum seeker on this failing scheme they should be putting that money into boosting our border security.

This is the third new law the Tories have passed on Channel crossings in two years – each one has made the chaos worse and even senior Tory MPs don’t believe this third law will work.

Now the new law has passed, the Conservatives will immediately sign another £50 million cheque to Rwanda on top of the £200 million sent so far, even though not a single asylum seeker has yet been sent.

The Tories should drop this eye-wateringly expensive election stunt and adopt Labour’s five point plan to reform the asylum system:

1. Crackdown on criminal smuggler gangs, through new Cross-Border Police Unit and deeper security cooperation with Europe

A Labour Government would crackdown on criminal smuggler gangs by introducing stronger powers for the UK’s National Crime Agency to restrict the movement of those suspected of being involved in people smuggling and setting up a new cross-border police unit with officers based in the UK and across Europe to tackle gangs upstream.

That would include officers being posted directly to Europol to collaborate on joint investigations and to identify and seize boats upstream. Labour will also seek to negotiate a new security agreement with Europe, including a replacement to SIS-II, to allow for the real-time sharing of intelligence on people smuggling suspects. To fund this, Labour would redirect spending from the unworkable Rwanda scheme, which the government has admitted is subject to a very high risk of fraud.

2. End hotel use, clear the Tory asylum backlog, and speed up returns to safe countries

Labour will save the taxpayer billions by ending the use of hotels for asylum seekers within 12 months and setting up a new returns unit for safe countries. Labour will recruit over 1,000 Home Office caseworkers to clear the record Tory asylum backlog, and a further 1,000 staff for a new returns unit so that those who do not have a right to stay here can be quickly removed, and we end the use of costly hotels at the taxpayers’ expense.

Labour will fast track decisions on applications from safe countries, like India and Albania, which are unlikely to be granted; and establish a new returns unit to reverse the 44% collapse in asylum removals that the Tory Government has overseen since 2010.

3. Reform resettlement routes to stop people being exploited by gangs

Labour would redesign the existing resettlement schemes which are not currently working properly so that they include a clearer process for refugees with family connections in the UK to be considered for resettlement, preventing them being exploited by criminal gangs or making dangerous journeys.

4. New agreement with France and other countries on returns and family reunion

Labour would negotiate a new agreement which includes safe returns and safe family reunions for child refugees.

5. Tackle humanitarian crises at source helping refugees in their region

Labour would work in partnership internationally to address some of the humanitarian crises that are leading people to flee their homes including restoring the 0.7% aid commitment when the fiscal situation allows and strengthening support for the people of Afghanistan, currently the largest group trying to cross the Channel.

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