Shamima and Jarrah Begum - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:13 pm on 11th March 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development) 5:13 pm, 11th March 2019

The noble Lord raises a very important question. Of course, if British people who go to Syria return, they face the full force of the law as to why they travelled to that country when the Government had given every advice against doing so. The noble Lord will know of many cases where citizens return. However, to go into a war zone and retrieve someone is beyond what the Home Secretary is willing to do. Of course, the other point is that the Government put a huge amount of money into the region in humanitarian assistance, but the Home Secretary has rightly said that he will not risk the lives of British officials to go to retrieve foreign fighters—or, indeed, the children they have brought with them.