A DECISION to halt lone child refugees from entering the UK has been branded “callous” by MSP Gil Paterson.
The SNP has demanded a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May after the move earlier in February.
A letter, sent on behalf of the SNP’s 54 MPs, has also called on the Prime Minister to reverse the shameful decision to stop receiving unaccompanied refugee children from Europe through the Dubs amendment at the end of March – warning that the humanitarian crisis “will not just go away” and that the UK government has a moral responsibility to act.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP and the SNP have called for greater refugee resettlement since the start of the crisis, and wants the UK government to live up to its promises to receive at least 3,000 of the estimated 90,000 unaccompanied child refugees in Europe.
Mr Paterson, who is lodging a motion to the Scottish Parliament commending integration efforts with Syrian refugees by Clydebank FC, has laid into the Tory government over the move.
He said: “I was absolutely disgusted at this cold-hearted move by this increasingly twisted government run by arch-Tory Theresa May.
“Long has she been zealously against immigration, and we all remember the callous ‘Go Home’ vans she sanctioned towards immigrants.
“But for the Tories to go after the children is sickening to me, for these youngsters are some of the most vulnerable children of whom we are able to help.
“The move is inhumane and I do not know how the Prime Minister can sleep at night knowing the fate she has doomed unaccompanied children to, many of whom are sadly orphans.
“I hope Theresa May can bow to the pressure put on her by the SNP as well as many other well respected charities and organisations, and reverse this outrageous ruling.”
Notes for Editors:
The Scottish Government has so far welcomed approximately 1,300 Syrian refugees under the Syrian Resettlement Programme, 35 unaccompanied children from France via the Dubs amendment, a further 110 unaccompanied children from clandestine routes, and is working with the Home Office and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to welcome further unaccompanied children. Last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called on Theresa May to reverse the decision to close the Dubs scheme: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38937288