Tough talk in Washington but will Braverman's bravado pay off?

The home secretary tells ITV News she is on a mission to tackle illegal migration, with migrants 'breaking our rules and gaming our system' - ITV News' Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana reports from Washington DC

The Home Secretary Suella Braverman was careful in choosing the location of her toughest speech yet on immigration.

She believes that in the US, where the numbers illegally crossing the southern border eclipse those arriving in Britain by boat, she will receive a sympathetic response to her ramped up rhetoric.

And that was the case at the conservative think-tank, the American Enterprise Institute, where she chose to deliver the speech on Tuesday. Certainly in the US there are those who want to see a shift in the global rules around asylum.

But practically speaking, is reform of the Geneva Convention - as Ms Braverman called for - something that could actually happen?

It would require a vote of the UN general assembly that has 193 members - with an array of different pressures and desires.

Take one of Ms Braverman's central arguments - that people should not be able to claim asylum if they have crossed safe countries along the way. The problem with that is it piles pressure on those countries which border the most crisis-hit parts of the world.

Those countries already take on a huge burden when it comes to resettling asylum seekers.

Take Turkey, bordered by Iran, Iraq and Syria, with Afghanistan not much further away.

Last year it hosted 3.6m refugees (the most in the world), followed by Iran on 3.2m, and Colombia (Venezuela's neighbour) on 2.5m. Only Germany features from Europe in the top five, on 2.1, followed by Pakistan.

Britain, meanwhile, hosted under 330,000.

Suella Braverman speaking with ITV News Deputy Political Editor Anushka Asthana. Credit: ITV News

Ms Braverman told me that is too many, but what might she agree then in a new international agreement - and would Turkey accept that?

Meanwhile, the speech was deliberate in its politics. Tory strategists are clear, that of Rishi Sunak's five pledges, this one, on stopping the small boats, is the one with the clearest gap from Labour.

They depict Sir Keir Starmer's party as ready to welcome more migrants after he posed the idea of renegotiating a returns agreement with the EU.

But it's fair to say that Labour is up for this fight, with it's shadow home secretary punchily responding today and accusing her counterpart of divisive language, and reminding voters (as she will do time and again until the election) that the boats are still coming, despite that central pledge to stop them. 

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