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Refugee Camps (Syria-Turkey Border)

Volume 600: debated on Tuesday 20 October 2015

We have pledged more than £1.1 billion for humanitarian relief in Syria and neighbouring countries. Roughly half of that sum goes towards helping people inside Syria, and the other half is provided to refugees in the neighbouring countries in the region.

Does the Minister agree that the Prime Minister’s commitment that the UK will take 1,000 refugees before Christmas—which equates roughly to two refugees per constituency—is simply not good enough and represents a missed opportunity to do the right thing?

No, I do not. The hon. Lady underestimates the important fact that we shall be offering a home to people who are among the most vulnerable and traumatised as a result of the conflict. We need to ensure that they are given a proper reception and the full package of support from the national health service and, in many cases, local authority social services. They have to be properly provided for.

Given the increased terrorist activity in Turkey, what assurances can the Minister give on the support the British Government are specifically giving Turkey with respect to the migrant question?

We have made it very clear to the Turkish Government that we stand with them in resisting terrorism. We have a history of good counter-terrorist co-operation with the Turkish authorities, and we have told Turkey that we are willing to explore how we can further strengthen that.