Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Emily Thornberry rolls eyes in grilling over migrant deal with EU

Emily Thornberry rolls eyes at question in Channel 4 interview

Emily Thornberry rolled her eyes during a Channel 4 grilling over Labour’s plan for a migrant returns deal with the European Union.

The Labour frontbencher was pressed on what would happen if Brussels refuses an agreement sought by Sir Keir Starmer.

The Shadow Attorney General made a lengthy pause and rolled her eyes before answering the question during the interview last night.

Channel 4 host Ciaran Jenkins asked: “If such a crucial part of Sir Keir Starmer’s plan is a returns agreement with the EU, what happens if they don’t agree to one? If they say no, your plan is kaput.”

Ms Thornberry replied: “What we have been doing today is we have gone to Europe, we have gone to see Europol, and we have been talking to them about the sharing of information, about working together with them, about having joint investigations in order to be able to crush the gangs. That is number one.

“Keir is going to be speaking to a number of people, he is going to speak to people in France in the near future.

“We will also be talking about being able to work with the EU when it comes to dealing with the small boats.

“As well as crushing the gangs we need to be able to have safe and legal routes for people to be able to come into the country.

“But we also need to have a returns agreement with the EU for people who are taking the mickey.”

Mr Jenkins later remarked on Twitter that it was “quite the eye roll” from the Islington South and Finsbury MP.

It comes as Sir Keir this week unveiled Labour’s plans to tackle the small boats crisis.

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The Labour leader used a visit to The Hague in the Netherlands to promise an anti-terrorism-style international crackdown on people smuggling gangs.

But a political battle has broken out with the Tories over proposals for a migrant returns deal with Brussels.

Rishi Sunak claimed the move could result in 100,000 EU migrants coming to the UK every year, while Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the Labour leader would let the UK become a “dumping ground” for Europe’s migrants.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper this morning said the Conservatives were “talking garbage” about Labour’s approach.

She told LBC: “Unfortunately this is just Rishi Sunak making things up because his plan isn’t working to tackle the Tory boats chaos.

“We’ve always said that yes the routes need to be capped… We’re not talking about this European quota scheme at all. We wouldn’t be part of that. That’s part of what the Conservatives have made up.”

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