Labour's plan to crack criminal people-smuggling gangs

Labour’s plan to crack criminal people-smuggling gangs

Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has spoken about Labour’s plan to crack criminal people-smuggling gangs. But will it work?

The crackpot Tory scheme to send Channel-crossing asylum-seekers to Rwanda has been officially scrapped – to be replaced with a plan to build a “UK Border Security Command” dedicated to tracking down and smashing the gangs who exploit desperate refugees by making them pay to cross the water between France and the UK.

Ms Cooper said she would be commissioning an investigation into the routes, methods and tactics used by people smuggling gangs to help inform her approach.

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She said she was not planning to introduce digital ID cards, as former prime minister Tony Blair had suggested – but she was planning to “audit” details of the Rwanda deportation scheme, amid calls for that country to repay money it had taken to accept people from the UK.

Will it work?

Possibly.

For a start, if a government is going to try to stop people crossing the Channel illegally in boats, it makes sense to target the suppliers of the boats rather than to target the people who only use them.

But the efficacy of the scheme will have to be proved – and that means the number of people coming across will need to drop.

So far, Ms Cooper has failed to give any indication as to when we may see that happen.


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