SMALL BOATS SAGA Illegal migrants WILL be allowed to claim asylum in Britain, Labour says in fresh border row

ILLEGAL migrants will soon be allowed to claim asylum in Britain, the Labour government has said amid a fresh border row. 

The first small boats of Sir Keir Starmer’s premiership crossed today as No10 braced for a “challenging” summer in the Channel. 

Border Force taking in some illegal migrants today
Border Force taking in some illegal migrants todayCredit: PA
Britain’s new Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has axed the Rwanda scheme
Britain’s new Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has axed the Rwanda schemeCredit: AFP

New Home Secretary Yvette Cooper vowed to “go after criminal smuggler gangs” by launching a Border Security Command taskforce.

But her Tory predecessor Suella Braverman said her promise amounted to “more blah, blah, blah”.

She said: “I warned, but prepare to see the UK become an even bigger magnet for illegal arrivals and numbers soar as our borders disintegrate.”

Labour has axed the Conservatives’ Rwanda plan and will instead let migrants go through asylum processing to get the right to stay.

Under existing laws anyone who has arrived illegally since July last year is ineligible to claim asylum - instead going into taxpayer-funded accommodation at enormous cost.

With a current grant rate of 65 per cent, letting small boat migrants claim asylum could see tens of thousands given leave to remain in the UK.

Sir Keir’s spokesman said today: “We need to ensure that people who arrive here are processed so that people are not sitting in the system, housed in expensive taxpayer-funded hotels as they have been under previous administrations.”

It is unclear if this will apply only to the backlog of 50,000+ migrants already here, or whether future small boat arrivals will also be eligible.Border Force today escorted groups of migrants wearing life jackets and wrapped in blankets into Dover in Kent.

Ms Cooper said she would be auditing the entire Rwanda scheme which has so far seen £290million sent to Kigali.

Asked if she was pushing for a refund, she told LBC: “We are looking now, we are auditing the whole of the Rwandan scheme the Conservatives have set up.

“It's clearly been a complete con, we will se out next steps in due course. The most important thing right now is to get the Border Security Command in place.

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