Syria: Refugees — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:43 pm on 10th December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Rosser Lord Rosser Shadow Spokesperson (Defence), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Transport) 3:43 pm, 10th December 2014

My Lords, I thank the Minister for repeating the Statement made earlier in the other place.

The British Government have rightly committed £700 million to help those affected by the conflict in Syria. It is the UK’s largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis and reflects the values of the British people. We, on these Benches, applaud the Government’s efforts in that regard.

At a conference in Geneva yesterday, the UN asked for countries across the globe to increase the places they could provide for a limited programme to help the most vulnerable refugees who struggle to survive or cope in the region. As I understand it, the Government have still to respond. This is now the worst refugee crisis since World War II. It is not about helping every refugee but about doing our bit alongside other countries. Will the Government accept that their parallel programme is not working sufficiently well and sign up to the UN programme instead? Will the Government immediately take vulnerable refugees affected by the conflict in Syria out of the net migration target? Finally, will the Government now agree to do more to help?