The Labour party has released its manifesto for the General Election being held on 4 July 2024, presenting a robust strategy to address national security, secure borders, and economic stability amidst a volatile global landscape. Here’s a summary of the key Labour immigration policies.


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Labour emphasises the need for controlled and managed borders, highlighting Britain’s history of welcoming those fleeing persecution. However, the current system is deemed chaotic, with criminal smuggler gangs fuelling the small boats crisis and costing lives.


With Labour seen as the favourites to win the general election, at an average of 20 points ahead in the polls, greater scrutiny may be applied to their policy over the other parties. What is clear is that there would be a different approach to immigration and asylum to the Conservative Party’s strategy over the past 14 years.


Labour Immigration Policies


Border Security Command: Labour proposes the creation of a new Border Security Command. This unit will be staffed with hundreds of specialist investigators, intelligence officers, and cross-border police officers. It will be funded by ending the costly Migration and Economic Development partnership with Rwanda. The new Command will have counter-terrorism style powers to disrupt and arrest criminal gangs involved in human smuggling.


International Cooperation: Labour plans to negotiate a new security agreement with the EU to access real-time intelligence and lead joint investigations with European counterparts.


Reforming the Asylum System: Labour aims to restore order to the asylum system, ensuring it operates swiftly, fairly, and firmly.


Asylum Backlog: Labour will hire additional caseworkers to clear the existing backlog of asylum cases created by current policies. They will end the use of hotels for asylum accommodation, saving taxpayer money.


Returns and Enforcement Unit: A new unit with an additional 1,000 staff will be established to fast-track removals to safe countries for those without the right to stay in the UK. Labour will negotiate more returns arrangements to increase the number of safe countries that failed asylum seekers can be sent back to.


Addressing Root Causes: Labour will work with international partners to address the humanitarian crises that lead people to flee their homes, strengthening support for refugees in their home regions.


Key Measures


Clear the Asylum Backlog: Increase caseworkers and create a Returns and Enforcement Unit.

End Hotel Use: Stop using hotels for asylum accommodation to reduce costs.

Scrap Rwanda Scheme: Immediately terminate plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Humanitarian Support: Collaborate internationally to tackle humanitarian crises and support refugees locally.


Our thoughts


Labour’s manifesto presents a comprehensive and pragmatic approach to managing immigration and asylum. By focusing on dismantling criminal smuggling operations and enhancing border security through a dedicated command unit, Labour addresses the root causes of the small boats crisis. Their commitment to scrapping the costly and ineffective Rwanda scheme in favour of direct action against smuggler gangs demonstrates a shift towards practical, on-the-ground solutions.


The proposed reforms to the asylum system, including additional caseworkers and a new returns unit, aim to clear the backlog and ensure that the process is fair and efficient. This focus on efficiency, coupled with plans to end the use of hotels for asylum seekers, could save significant taxpayer money and improve public perception of the asylum process.


However, the success of these policies will hinge on effective implementation and international cooperation. Negotiating new security agreements with the EU and addressing humanitarian crises require robust diplomatic efforts and sustained commitment.


Overall, Labour’s plan seeks to balance compassion with control, ensuring that the UK remains a safe haven for those in genuine need while maintaining secure and orderly borders. This approach may appeal to voters looking for a more humane yet practical immigration policy.


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