Relocation of Migrants in need of International Protection (Opt-in Decision)

Part of European Union (Approvals) Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 6:21 pm on 14th December 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Minister (Home Office) 6:21 pm, 14th December 2015

I am not sure that I am in a position to deal with that intervention; it is probably better put to the Minister.

The Government have rightly said that they will take refugees from outside Europe, and we support that, but what about those who have made it into Europe? Of course the Government do not want to get drawn into a mandatory relocation programme within Europe, but why cannot there be a voluntary arrangement that we could enter into in order to play our full part in solidarity and fair responsibility for refugees across Europe? Just as we have joined with our European and other international allies in trying to defeat ISIS and other causes of refugees and migration, so we should play our full part in dealing with the crisis here in Europe, with huge numbers already desperately needing relocation. On the basis of the figures, at least at first blush, it looks as though the relocation programme is not working as was anticipated. As I say, only 160 or so individuals have been relocated. In those circumstances, we ask whether the Government could and should do more.

I finish where I started and return to the way in which this matter now comes before the House. Recognising that the situation is moving fast, will the Minister give an assurance that the House will be properly updated and that time will be allowed for proper scrutiny and debate as the relocation policy rolls out over the coming weeks and months?