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Cross-party group urges Theresa May to continue Dubs child refugee scheme

Cross-party group urges Theresa May to continue Dubs child refugee scheme
2 min read

Theresa May is facing fresh pressure to take in more unaccompanied child refugees after a cross-party group called for the continuation of the so-called Dubs scheme.

The scheme was first put forward by Labour peer Lord Dubs, himself a former child refugee, in an amendment to last year’s Immigration Bill.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd explained that the decision to cap the number taken in at just 480 children was aimed at discouraging refugees from making “perilous” journeys to Europe.

Today’s letter urges Theresa May to reconsider the policy on the basis that many councils are willing to take more children in.

Along with Lord Dubs himself, the letter is signed by Home Affairs Select Committee chair Yvette Cooper, Tory backbencher Heidi Allen, outgoing Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and the SNP’s Joanna Cherry.

Citing the Prime Minister's recent speech on seeking cross-party consensus over the UK's approach in Brexit talks, they said: “We are writing in light of your recent appeal to other parties to come forward with views and ideas to tackle the challenges we face as a country.

“It is in that spirit that we are asking you to reconsider the government’s current stance on helping unaccompanied refugee children in Europe.

“We applaud the Government's work to provide substantial international aid for refugees and for the resettlement schemes in Syria and the surrounding region. We believe it is important for Britain to continue to do its bit as we have always done to give sanctuary to refugees here too.

The Government’s initial limit numbers to 350 was subsequently revised to 480 when it emerged that further offers of places from local authorities had not been counted.

“The Immigration Minister told the House today that the Dubs scheme was still open,” they added.

“Can we urge the Government not to cap the Dubs scheme at 480 and to keep it open so long as Local Authorities have places to offer?

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