Labour party warns against “damaging” border force cuts after Brussels attacks
The Labour party has warned the government against “damaging” cuts to the border force in the wake of the Brussels attacks.
Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham wrote to home secretary Theresa May to urge against cuts to make savings now, which he said would be a "very serious mistake".
Burnham quoted border force members, saying that they have been told to expect cuts of up to six per cent next year and the year after.
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The force has been "stretched to its limit", Burnham wrote, as it has "already experienced consecutive years of cuts".
"The public has a right to know about the government's plans for the UK border and that is why I call on them to publish these figures without delay and to drop these damaging cuts," he added.
The Home Office said extra money for the border force was pledged in the Budget, adding that it was still finalising the border force budget, according to the BBC.
But Burnham accused May of going to “great lengths” to hide the extent of cuts, saying it is “highly unusual” for the government not to have released the budget this close to the start of the new financial year.
In November George Osborne ruled out cuts to the police spending budget after the Paris attacks. The move was a major surprise after cuts as high as 20 per cent were expected in the run up to the spending review.