British opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer has met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a trip to Montreal, in a visit that has seen him stress the importance of border security.
The Labour leader is in Canada for a summit of political leaders, as he seeks to burnish his image on the world stage. Norway’s premier Jonas Gahr Store and Jacinda Ardern, former prime minister of New Zealand, are among the other leading names at the event for “progressive” politicians this weekend.
After the talks with Mr Trudeau, Sir Keir is expected to visit to Paris next week to meet French president Emmanuel Macron. The visit to Canada has seen the Labour leader push the importance of securing Britain’s borders, calling it an “acute security concern”.
He is also there to warn of the joint challenges that make up an “axis of instability”.
“I’ll be talking to political leaders from across the world about shared challenges and concerns, in particular security,” he told broadcasters.
“And one of the most acute security concerns in the UK right now is border security, because the Government has lost control of the borders.
“That basic rule that it ought to be the UK Government who decides who come to our shores has been conceded by the Government to criminal gangs, who are putting people in boats to go across the Channel.
“So that is the particular challenge that we face and that is why I’m setting out how we will work with international partners to smash these gangs, restore order to our borders and take a pragmatic approach - get rid of the gimmicks and the rhetoric and actually come up with a solution.” The flurry of international engagements has been seen as a bid to appear statesmanlike and boost his leadership credentials ahead of a likely general election next year.