In the absence of a convincing change narrative, the Prime Minister fell back yesterday on trying to frighten voters with a Labour government.
Our deputy editor tells Newsnight that the controversy about housing illegal entrants in hotels will continue until the Government bites the bullet and builds a proper asylum estate.
Labour are happy to hammer the Government for it’s lack of progress, but lack any convincing alternative plan to make the system effective and bring numbers down.
Without much more significant progress, the cost of the asylum system to hard-pressed taxpayers is only going to keep rising.
The question is whether the Government can negotiate enough bilateral deals to solve the problem, or has to rely on the Rwanda scheme.
“In the five months since I launched the plan,” the Prime Minister says, “crossings are now down by 20 percent compared to last year.’
A proper refugee visa pathway would ensure Britain remained accessible to genuine refugees, ease pressure on the Home Office and the Treasury – and bolster the legitimacy of deterrence too.
Each side fears the other’s approach will give the courts too much scope to interfere with the operation of the new law.
The Prime Minister promised that we will ‘stop the boats’. We all want him to succeed in this endeavour. But good intentions will count for nothing if the legislation doesn’t achieve its aims.
Ministers must make a priority of controlling our borders and stimulating growth with a tax-cutting, pro-enterprise agenda.
The Prime Minister avoided blaming France for the rising number of migrants and asylum seekers trying to cross the Channel to the UK.
The Prime Minister insists that there “is no one single lever that will solve this problem” as Starmer says traffickers are “laughing all the way to the bank”.
The Home Secretary describes the UK’s approach as “robust and novel” and says other countries who share the same problem understand the British stance.
The Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary adds that “we have heard these promises before”.
Channel crossings are a specific challenge that warrant a robust response: the Home Secretary should be mandated to ensure all who arrive by such means are removed.