Refugees (Family Reunion) (No.2) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:03 am on 16th March 2018.

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Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Conservative, North East Hampshire 11:03 am, 16th March 2018

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. Again, he pre-empts my remarks, for I will talk a little bit about aid, which is a vital part of this debate.

Before I do so, I want to mention what one of my constituents has said. Graham wrote to me, saying that the fact

“that the majority of would-be asylum seekers have landed within the EU on Mediterranean coasts and have then chosen to cross several countries within the EU (all of which could have provided refuge) does seem to contradict the argument that they are escaping persecution, hardship or war.”—[Interruption.]

I suggest that Opposition Members listen to the views of people in the country, rather than belittle them. This is, of course, the establishment view of people bought by vested interests, but they should actually consider what people feel in the country. They have all been criticising my constituent and maligning his views and intentions, but this very same constituent wrote in the same email of his

“personal belief in a sensible, compassionate system of accepting genuine refugees where possible”,

and I agree with him.