Tim Farron writes to Theresa May to secure renewed commitment to taking 3000 unaccompanied child refugees.
Yesterday during your statement on the Informal European Council I asked you if you would guarantee that your Government would continue to take unaccompanied child refugees from Europe under the Dubs scheme (section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016). Your failure to give this reassurance in your response yesterday was concerning and I hope that in your response to this letter you can clarify the Government's position on the Dubs scheme.
As you will know the DUbs amendment was borne out of cross-party support for Save the Children's call for the UK to take 3000 children, our fair share of unaccompanied child refugeees who had fld conflict and arrived in Europe. The narrow criteria offered in the guidance on how to implement Dub was not in the spirit of the amendment in Greece and Italy, where many children continue to languish is far wider.
Whilst the number of arrivals to Greece and Italy have declined from their peak the crisis continues and we can expect arrivals to rise as the weather improves this year. It will therefore be of the utmost importance that the Dubs passage continues to be open to these vulnerable children throughout the rest of this Parliament.
I would appreciate if you could offer this guarantee in no uncertain terms in your response, anything less will be viewed as a betrayal by your Government of Parliament, the public and the unaccompanied child refugees who have risked their lives to reach safety and now face homelessness, exploitation and a lack of safety in Europe.
Tim Farron MP