Syria

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:36 pm on 16th April 2018.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party 4:36 pm, 16th April 2018

The right hon. Gentleman has raised a number of issues.

I recognise that the issue of refugees, particularly child refugees, has been of concern to Members across this House for some time, and has been raised in this Chamber on a number of occasions. We took the decision that we could help and support more children and more refugees in general—men and women, as well as children —by acting in the region, and, as I have said, we have become the second biggest bilateral donor to the region. But we also took the decision that there were a number of refugees who were particularly vulnerable and who perhaps required particular medical support, and that it was right to bring them to the United Kingdom under our commitment to the vulnerable persons resettlement scheme, which we have been putting in place and continue to put in place. We are operating a number of other schemes to bring refugees—children in particular—here to the United Kingdom, but we continue to ensure that we are supporting the greatest possible number of refugees by acting in region, and that continues to be what we should be doing.

The right hon. Gentleman asked me about the issue of Parliament. I am sure he would recognise that it is always necessary for the Government to be able to act when decisions need to be taken, but to ensure that if a decision is taken that has not been discussed by Parliament, an opportunity for Parliament to discuss it and ask questions on it should be given at the first opportunity. That is exactly what we have done in this particular circumstance. We have also been as open as possible in terms of publishing the legal basis on which we have taken this decision, making information available to a number of parliamentarians on a Privy Council basis, and trying to ensure that we provide the maximum possible briefing, commensurate with the fact that some of the intelligence on which we are operating cannot be shared with Parliament. We will be as open as possible with this Parliament and, as I have said, I will continue to answer questions from this Parliament on this issue.