Lib Dems call for debate on government’s handling of refugee crisis

September 9, 2015 4:02 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Tom Brake have called for an urgent debate in Parliament about the refugee crisis and the UK response.

They are demanding a debate on the government's handling of the issue and believe the UK should be doing more to help thousands of refugees arriving in Europe every week.

The Lib Dems will also ask when the government expect Calais' 'Jungle' camp to be dismantled following agreement with the French to provide more support to deal with the influx of refugees.

Tom said: "The Lib Dems are tackling this issue head-on and calling for a debate on what the government is doing to address the suffering of desperate people.

"It's clear the UK is not playing its part in dealing with this crisis and does not have a solution to a situation which is costing lives."

Tom submitted an urgent question calling for a debate yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.

Tim added: "Our party has taken the lead in highlighting this problem and we have asked for a debate in Parliament to raise the issue and hold the government to account.

"We can and must do more with our EU partners to tackle the problem. This is a humanitarian crisis which shames our country. We must step up to the plate to tackle it."

On August 4, Tim visited the Jules Ferry refugee camp in Calais to learn more about the humanitarian work of the UNHCR and Medecins du Monde.

During his visit he met a 14-year-old boy who had escaped Syria and was being treated for two broken legs. The boy was on his own - and was among a number of young men and boys who had fled Syria and North Africa. He had been injured trying to get into Britain.

Tim has said we must recognise what we can do to help, support the French to process asylum applications and provide decent standards of welfare and accommodation for refugees.