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Syrian Refugees

Volume 602: debated on Monday 16 November 2015

12. What timetable she has set for resettlement of Syrian refugees; and whether she plans to increase the number of such refugees that the UK will accept. (902158)

The Government have committed to resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees in the lifetime of this Parliament. The Prime Minister has said that we want to see 1,000 brought to the UK by Christmas. We have no plans to increase this number. It is now important that we focus on bringing these vulnerable people to the UK.

In refusing to assist refugees already in Europe, the Secretary of State has given great support to the creation of hotspots to fast-track registration. May I bring to the Government’s attention the recent report from International Rescue? The report says that

“the way hotspots are currently being rolled out is causing chaos, increasing tensions and violence, and leaving more people without basic shelter.”

In the light of that, will the Government stay on the sidelines in respect of helping refugees in Europe?

The hon. Gentleman will be fully aware that our taking 20,000 refugees on the grounds of vulnerability is only a part of our efforts for refugees. The Government are spending more than £1.1 billion on helping refugees in the countries adjacent to Syria. I think he will agree that our record is second to none in that respect.

I congratulate the Minister on tackling the problem at the Syrian end of the continent. Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the best ways in which the Government can tackle people smugglers and their awful business model is by breaking the link between getting on a boat or lorry in one part of the world and getting settlement in Europe?