Sir Keir Starmer has “struck deals” in France in a bid to tackle the migrant crisis in moves that will be enacted should he earn power at the next general election, a Labour MP has claimed.
Khalid Mahmood made the suggestion while speaking on GB News, where he claimed the party leader is ready to put “proper resources” in place to deal with the matter.
The Labour MP was responding to Home Secretary Suella Braverman refusing to rule out the UK leaving a global refugee charter if it continues unreformed, as she warned of the “existential threat” of uncontrolled migration.
She used a speech in the United States to advocate for the United Nations’ Refugee Convention to be overhauled as part of wider efforts to stop small boats crossing the Channel.
Keir Starmer has held meetings with Macron
GB NEWS / PA
As Britain reportedly moves closer to a general election, Starmer is said to be drawing up future plans as he prepares for a potential turn at dealing with the migrant crisis.
“Keir Starmer has been across to France and struck some deals, he is going to work through that”, he told GB News.
“He is going to put proper resources into dealing with this with our own Border Force in place for dealing with this.”
Pressed on what the deals consist of, he said Macron has offered a “good response” to the Labour leader.
Christys responded: “What Suella Braverman was saying that due to civic security, practical and democratic issues, we have to get control of illegal migration.
Macron generally only holds meetings with opposition leaders from his own "political family"PA
“She is urging the world to change the definition on refugees and makes a pretty strong case. She said if the world did that, we would be able to enforce things like the Illegal Migrant Plan.
“It sounds like Starmer has struck a secret deal with Macron from what you are saying, is that right? What is it?”
Mahmood commented: “He’s negotiated a deal with him, he’s talking to him, and once he gets into power, he’ll have further discussions.
“One of the key things is looking at joining border forces, with both the French and our border force to be able to control this.
“The National Crime Agency will have more power to deal with this. This Government hasn’t been able to deal with this.”
Braverman said the current international framework governing refugee status, including the UN accord, was “contributing” to a system that was incentivising millions of asylum seekers to “try their luck”.
Calling for the “definition of who qualifies for protection” under refugee rules to be “tightened”, she said the threshold for asylum had steadily been lowered since the signing of the UN pact, which is backed by 149 states, more than 70 years ago.
In comments criticised by equalities campaigners, she said offering asylum to a person because they are discriminated against in their home country for being gay or a woman was not sustainable.
The UN’s refugee agency, while recognising the “complex challenges” presented by irregular migration, said the convention remained “crucial” for protecting people facing persecution.
GB News has contacted The Labour Party for comment.