The Tory government has announced that all child refugees hoping to get into Britain should get stuffed. Well, not exactly those words. But that was the intent. The announcement was sneaked in between the Brexit vote and Prime Minister’s Questions.
What’s more, the announcement quoted a fictional figure, saying a meagre 350 unaccompanied child refugees had been brought in to Britain so far. The true number is 200. And even if the higher figure is correct, this is still pathetic.
Labour peer, Lord Alf Dub, commented:
But the 350… the extra 150 has come from God knows where, they’ve just cooked it up… It’s entirely new.
The original figure, as ‘promised’ by David Cameron, was 3000. This came about as a result of the ‘Dubs Amendment’ by Lord Dubs, who was a child refugees who escaped the Holocaust thanks to Sir Nicholas Winton and his KinderTransport.
The government is blaming local councils for not finding suitable accommodation for the children under the National Transfer Scheme. And councils are blaming central government for not providing the funding needed. In other words, the blame game.
The Tories’ announcement is contrary to British values – values about compassion and caring. According to one MP, the about-turn is more akin to the xenophobic racism of Trump’s ‘America First’.
Thousands of unaccompanied children
Around 90,000 unaccompanied child refugees are displaced across Europe. Britain’s ‘share’ in helping to alleviate this crisis equates to a mere 0.4%. For one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, that is unforgiveable.
A Care4Calais spokesperson said:
With the devastating news that the transfer of minors to the UK has halted, and the broken promise that those who willingly went to French welcome centres would not be deported under the ‘Dublin’ system, distraught refugees have nowhere left to turn but the cold streets of Paris or the lost hope of Calais. They are therefore returning to conditions that are now worse than the Jungle ever was, as sleeping rough means night after night in sub-zero temperatures with no running water, sanitation, cooking or washing facilities.
Meanwhile Lord Dubs is determined to challenge the May government on its decision and will be raising a Private Notice Question in the House of Lords.