Refugees (Family Reunion) (No.2) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 9:50 am on 16th March 2018.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Environment and Rural Affairs), Chair, International Trade Committee 9:50 am, 16th March 2018

I am pleased to join the hon. Gentleman in congratulating Carmarthenshire’s council, which brings me neatly on to Aberdeenshire Council, as I was going to mention that, too. Apparently, a lot of Syrians are watching this debate in Aberdeenshire today, so let me say hello to them. I am told they are watching this on Facebook, with their hearts in their mouths. Aberdeenshire Council needs to be congratulated, because, on a cross-party basis, its councillors have unanimously and publicly given their support to this Bill. So I thank the Tory, Labour, Liberal, Green, Independent and SNP councillors of Aberdeenshire Council, who have all united today to support the legislation.

The thing about this Bill is that it could have been introduced by any Member in this House. It was conceived by a partnership of good samaritan organisations: the British Red Cross, Oxfam, the Refugee Council, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Amnesty International, to name but some. The Bill has the support of MPs from seven political parties: the Conservatives, Labour, the SNP, the Democratic Unionist party, the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green party. I thank hon. Members from across the House who have co-sponsored the Bill.

This Bill should not be about party politics or about red, blue, yellow and so on; it is about compassion and, as Mr Carmichael said a few moments ago, humanity.