Labour Proposes New Border Security Command to Tackle People-Smuggling Gangs

Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is set to announce the creation of a new Border Security Command to address the issue of people-smuggling gangs bringing migrants across the Channel. This “elite” unit will receive additional funding by discontinuing the Tories’ Rwanda deportation scheme. The Border Security Command will be headed by a former police, military, or intelligence chief and will be empowered with new capabilities under the Counter Terrorism Act. These powers will enable officers to conduct stop and searches at the border, carry out financial investigations, and issue search and seizure warrants targeting organised immigration crime.

In his speech on the Kent coast, Sir Keir will emphasize the need to combat criminal enterprises that exploit vulnerable individuals through people-smuggling. He will highlight the despicable nature of this trade that preys on desperation and hope. Sir Keir’s experience as the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service will inform his commitment to replacing “gimmicks with graft” in addressing immigration issues.

The announcement of the Border Security Command comes after Dover MP, Natalie Elphicke, defected from the Conservatives to Labour. Ms. Elphicke cited concerns about housing issues and the safety and security of borders as key reasons for her decision. This defection underscored criticisms of the government’s handling of immigration, with Ms. Elphicke accusing the prime minister of failing to fulfill promises to “stop the boats.”

Sir Keir will denounce the government’s “rank incompetence” in managing immigration, particularly in relation to the Rwanda deportation scheme. He will argue that the scheme has failed to serve as an effective deterrent and suggest that the Conservatives have implemented a “Travelodge amnesty” by accommodating migrants in hotels instead of processing their asylum claims. The growing asylum backlog and increasing numbers of migrants crossing the Channel highlight the need for a more robust approach to immigration control.

Labour has pledged to scrap the Rwanda deportation scheme and concentrate on combating people-smuggling gangs and reducing the asylum backlog. The Border Security Command will be financed through reallocating £75 million from the initial funding allocated to the Rwanda scheme, which has faced delays and operational challenges since its announcement two years ago. By redirecting resources to target the root causes of illegal immigration, Labour aims to enhance border security and streamline asylum processing procedures.

Labour’s proposal to establish a new Border Security Command represents a comprehensive strategy to address the complex issue of illegal immigration and people-smuggling. By prioritizing the safety and security of borders and targeting criminal enterprises, Labour aims to provide a more effective and sustainable solution to immigration challenges. The defection of Natalie Elphicke and the criticisms of the Conservative government’s immigration policies underscore the urgency of implementing proactive measures to safeguard national borders and uphold humanitarian values.


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