Nigel Farage says Labour has made ‘big mistake’ over migrant plans
European diplomats have ridiculed Sir Keir Starmer’s plan for a new migrant returns deal with Brussels.
The Labour leader this week unveiled proposals on the small boats crisis including seeking an agreement with the EU.
But EU sources said there was “absolutely no question of helping the UK” until the bloc has its “own house in order”.
One EU diplomat told The Times: “The EU’s asylum system is broken, internal negotiations have now dragged on for more than seven years without an end in sight.
“There is absolutely no question of helping the UK until we have put our own house in order.
“Starmer is deluded if he thinks that European governments, who are under much more pressure on asylum and migration than Britain, are going to come to his rescue.”
It comes as the 27-nation club is dealing with its own internal rows over migration and returns reforms.
A proposal by the European Commission for a scheme that would require all members to accept a quote of asylum seekers entering the bloc has stalled due to opposition from central and eastern European nations.
Sir Keir’s small boats plan, which also involves treating people smugglers like terrorists, has sparked a political battle with the Conservatives.
The Tories have seized on the suggestion that he may accept a migrant quota from Brussels as part of a returns deal for people crossing the Channel.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak claimed the proposals could result in 100,000 EU migrants coming to the UK every year.
Meanwhile, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the Labour leader would let the UK become a “dumping ground” for Europe’s migrants.
And writing for the Express, she warned Labour’s “dirty deal” will surrender Britain’s Brexit freedoms.
But Sir Keir – who has refused to be drawn on the number of asylum seekers he would be happy to take in from the EU – said the response was “typical from a Government that’s completely lost control of the situation”.
He said: “It’s embarrassing that the Government is pumping out this nonsense. I can only assume it’s because they’ve got nothing sensible to say on the issue.”
The Labour leader visited The Hague, in the Netherlands, yesterday for talks with the EU’s Europol law enforcement agency.
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