Keir Starmer
Keir Starmer has pledged to rewrite the UK’s Brexit deal with the European Union (EU) if his party secures victory in the next general election. UK PARLIAMENT via AFP / JESSICA TAYLOR

A spokesperson for the government told BBC reporters that Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer has been working on strategies for Labour's asylum policy.

The new strategies set out to tackle the current asylum seeker crisis and application backlog in the UK.

This news comes amid Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's relentless push for his emergency Rwanda Treaty, a controversial legislation that will see all undocumented migrants who have arrived in the UK through the English Channel, deported to Rwanda.

The Labour Leader responded to Sunak's Rwanda Treaty by calling it a "gimmick" and a "performance art".

Last month, the Labour Leader also revealed that "of all the people that arrive by small boats in the last year or so, only one per cent have actually had their claims processed".

Starmer called the current asylum application backlog "appalling" but went on to note that a "practical" strategy would see those who fail in their asylum claims, "removed to the country they came from as swiftly as possible".

Responding to questions that asked if the left-wing party would consider processing asylum claims elsewhere, Starmer said that he would consider any plan that works for both the UK and asylum seekers.

The alternative strategy would see migrants having their asylum applications processed while they remain overseas. Only when an applicant has had their refugee or asylum seeker status granted, will they be allowed to come to the UK.

During a speech in Buckinghamshire this month, Starmer recognised that while the new strategy would be a significant shift for the Labour Party, "other countries around the world do have schemes where they divert people on the way and process them elsewhere".

"And look, I'll look at any scheme that might work," he added.

A recent report claimed that Labour Ministers have formed "three tests" that will test the reliability and morality of any alternative scheme.

The testing system will consider whether the plan is cost-effective, whether the plan will deter migrants and people smugglers from using the English Channel and whether the plan would avoid the legal challenges that delayed the "unlawful" Rwanda Treaty.

Conservative MPs have since accused the Labour Party of failing to form a credible plan that will cease the small boats that have been arriving in the UK.

Michael Tomlinson, the UK Minister for Tackling Illegal Immigration, said that Labour's offshoring application process is not "a deterrent to stop the boats, it just throws open the front door to Britain".

If Labour's strategy is implemented, the UK will only see "increasing immigration", he added.

Backing the Conservatives Rwanda Treaty that was ruled "unlawful" by both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court earlier this year, the Illegal Immigration Minister noted: "The National Crime Agency says that only a deterrent will stop the boats. Rishi Sunak's Rwanda plan is a deterrent."

According to a recent report in The Times newspaper, for the Labour Party, any plan that blocks the asylum applications of those who have already arrived in the UK, will not stand.

British officials will also be put in charge of processing such claims, noted The Times report.

Lord David Blunkett, a Member of the House of Lords, told reporters: "What's absolutely crucial is who is doing the processing and that they're allowed back into the country. Without it, you're merely transferring the problem onto somebody else. But if British officials are doing the processing, then you've got a scheme that fits with the conventions."

"As Keir said before, we'll look at anything that works but our priority is smashing the gangs and stopping people getting here in the first place, rather than working out how to process claims," the Labour spokesperson clarified to BBC reporters.