Immigration Bill debate
Last night I spoke in the Immigration Bill debate in the House of Commons.
I spoke about the "pull factor" argument, which the Government used to argue against taking in 3,000 lone child refugees stranded in Europe, abandoning them to their fate on the basis of an unproven theory that if we did something, others might be encouraged to follow in their footsteps.
This is an unpalatable and immoral position to take when the issue at hand is thousands of vulnerable children who are at risk of exploitation and abuse, and it shames our nation's proud history of support for those fleeing persecution and war.
"Why did we not hear about the pull factor when this country took in 50,000 Ugandans, 30,000 Cypriots or 20,000 Vietnamese? We now have such a situation in Europe. A child died at the Piraeus camp in Greece when I visited just a few weeks ago. It was absolutely awful That this Government are doing what they are doing is a scandal."
Despite 5 Conservative MPs voted against their party with the Labour Party in support of the Dubs Amendment to take in 3,000 lone child refugees, the Government defeated the amendment.
I also voted in support of amendments that would have protected foreign domestic workers, set a time limit on the detention of refugees and protected pregnant refugees from detention which were all also defeated by the Government.