UK to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees

Written by Tom Freeman on 7 September 2015 in News

David Cameron announces UK will take in 20,000 over five years while looking to stabilise Syria

The UK will accept 20,000 refugees from Syria over the course of the current parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.

Speaking to the House of Commons, Cameron said the UK had a “moral responsibility” to resettle refugees fleeing Syria, whilst also taking action to end the conflict there.

He said the Home Secretary and the Communities Secretary will work with the devolved administrations in the UK including the Scottish Parliament to help resettle additional refugees, in what he called a “national effort”.


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"In doing so, we will continue to show the world that this country is a country of extraordinary compassion, always standing up for our values and helping those in need," he said, adding the refugees would be given five-year “humanitarian protection visas”.

The move was welcomed by Oxfam, who urged the Government to continue to review the number as the conflict went on.

The charity’s chief executive Mark Goldring said: “With the terrible conflict in Syria showing no signs of ending, the Government should continue to review how many refugees the UK will resettle. As the crisis in the region continues to worsen, the UK must work with others to resettle our fair share of those in need.”

Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman called on Cameron to reconsider his refusal to accept any refugees currently in southern Europe, but he said the UK would continue to take refugees directly from camps in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

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