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Refugees (Family Reunion) (No.2) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:55 am on 16th March 2018.

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Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry Conservative, Broxtowe 11:55 am, 16th March 2018

We are talking about people who are already here and whose status as genuine refugees has already been determined. The idea that there are gangs of people smugglers in Syria going through that desperate warzone and enticing families into putting their children into their hands is the stuff of fantasy. [Interruption.] No, it really is the stuff of fantasy.

It is beholden on all of us to conduct these important debates on the basis of facts and evidence—and yes, at times, emotion. Look at the problems we have in our country with the lack of understanding. If I may say so, perhaps that has been evident in some of the speeches we have heard today.

If somebody living in very poor circumstances comes to this country, that person is an economic migrant, and that is profoundly different. Even if they enter the country illegally, we can understand why they are coming here. These people come here not to take, but to give. For centuries people have come to this country from other parts of the world because they want to build a better life for themselves and their children. I have always welcomed them, because they contribute by virtue of their immigration status. They are fleeing poverty and come for a better life. They do not expect us to provide for them.