'He wants to cook up a deal with the EU!' Sunak claims Starmer would take 100,000 migrants from Europe

​Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak has accused Sir Keir Starmer of wanting to "cook up a deal with the EU", claiming he would take 100,000 migrants from the bloc

Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 06/12/2023

- 12:22

Updated: 06/12/2023

- 13:46

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition had a fiery back and forth at PMQs this afternoon

Rishi Sunak has accused Sir Keir Starmer of wanting to "cook up a deal with the EU", claiming he would take 100,000 migrants from the bloc.

But the Leader of the Opposition criticised Sunak for the beleaguered Rwanda scheme, dubbing it a "gimmick".

Sunak asked: "What is the honourable gentleman's plan? The answer is, he doesn't have a plan.

"No, no, I'm probably being unfair because he does have a plan - he wants to cook up a deal with the EU, which would see is accept 100,000 illegal migrants."

WATCH: Cleverly unveils new treaty with Rwanda

Starmer hit back: "Migration has trebled under his watch, and all he wants to do is make up numbers about the Labour Party."

Referring to the Government's new treaty with Rwanda, signed yesterday, Starmer said: "It's really pitiful.

"I'm not sure the Prime Minister has actually read this thing. Article 4 says the scheme is capped at Rwanda's capacity, that's 100. Article 5 says Rwanda can turn them away if they want.

"Article 19 says we have to take refugees from Rwanda. How much did this fantastic deal cost us?"

Sunak responded: "As the Home Secretary was crystal clear about, there is no incremental money that has been provided. This is about ensuring that the concerns of the Supreme Court have been addressed, in a legally binding treaty that will allow us to operationalise the scheme."

Starmer opened PMQs by describing the scheme to send migrants to Rwanda as a "gimmick".

He said: "If the purpose of the Rwanda gimmick was to solve a political headache of their own making, to get people out of the country who they simply couldn't deal with, then it has been a resounding success.

"After all, they've managed to send three home secretaries there, an achievement for which the whole country can be grateful.

"So, apart from members of his own cabinet, who has the Prime Minister sent to Rwanda?"

The PM hit back: "As I've been clear before, we will do everything it takes to get this scheme working so that we can indeed stop the boats.


"That's why this week we have signed a new legally binding treaty with Rwanda, together with new legislation, will address all the concerns that have been raised.

Because everyone should be in no doubt about our commitment to stop the boats and get planes off the ground, because deterrence is critical."

Cleverly announced a new treaty with Rwanda yesterday, which Rwanda’s foreign affairs minister Vincent Biruta said would “strengthen” the asylum processing system.

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