UK’s Labour Party lays out immigration plans
The UK’s opposition Labour Party has set out its immigration policy ahead of the 2025 general election saying it will speed up the processing of asylum applications and move asylum seekers out of hotels.
It has also pledged to end a plan to send asylum applicants to Rwanda for processing and to closer cooperation with the EU on immigration.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said a Labour government would scrap a rule under which overseas staff brought into the UK to fill vacancies on the shortage occupation list, including health, IT and engineering workers, could be paid up to 20 per cent less than the equivalent domestic wage.
UK Labour has said it would set up fast-track “Nightingale courts” to speed up the deportation of failed asylum seekers as part of Starmer’s plan to tackle a rise in the irregular arrival of asylum seekers across the English Channel.
The temporary courts would be set up to try and ensure legal challenges against removal could be heard quickly as the UK’s asylum system becomes beset by backlogs and delays.
Labour would also create a new Home Office returns unit with a thousand staff to fast-track removals of failed asylum seekers, foreign national offenders and visa over-stayers following what it claims has been a 70 per cent “collapse” in deportations since the Conservatives took power in 2010.
It would also fast-track asylum decisions on those who arrive via small boat from safe countries, such as Albania and India, whose applications are likely to fail.
These claims will be processed in weeks with swift removals organised, the party said, while insisting it does not need a new returns agreement with India, which is accounting for an increasing proportion of Channel migrants.
Also, a thousand new asylum case workers will be hired to clear the record backlog of claims and move migrants out of hotels where they are awaiting decisions.
They will be recruited on higher wages than current staff in an effort to improve productivity.
Once the backlogs and delays are cleared, a Labour government would end the use of hotels, barges and former military bases which currently cost the UK almost $5 billion a year.