Refugee Crisis in Europe

Part of Bill Presented — Devolution (London) Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:25 pm on 8th September 2015.

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Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Justice and Home Affairs) 3:25 pm, 8th September 2015

I intend to strike a very different note from that struck by Mr Holloway.

Last week, our First Minister in Scotland convened a summit to consider the humanitarian crisis that is unfolding across Europe. She said we should be in no doubt that what we were witnessing was a humanitarian crisis on a scale not seen in Europe since the second world war. As the shadow Home Secretary said, the United Nations estimates that up to a third of a million people have tried to cross the Mediterranean in the last few months, and nearly 3,000 have died in the process. Desperate people are travelling through Turkey, Greece and the Balkans into Hungary as they try to get to Austria and Germany.

The images of people suffocating in the backs of trucks, children drowning, and people on the very doorstep of the United Kingdom losing their lives as they try to cross from Calais to Britain haunt us on a daily basis. Those images will continue to haunt us, and our consciences and our reputation as a Union of nations, for many generations if we do not, together and collectively, act to help those who are in desperate need.