Within just the last few days, yet more people have tragically lost their lives trying to cross the Channel. It is utterly heartbreaking, especially for the friends and families left behind.
It’s hard to imagine how desperate people must be to climb into these boats in search of a better life. It just isn't right that vulnerable people are left no choice but to make these perilous attempts.
Our priority must be to save lives.
Our priority must be to save lives, and that means providing safe and legal routes to sanctuary in the UK for refugees.
That's why Liberal Democrats are voting today to maintain the rights for refugees in Europe to be reunited with their families and ensure that unaccompanied child refugees can be resettled in the UK - and are urging our fellow MPs to do the same.
"There is only one other country in Europe that does not allow unaccompanied refugee children to be reunited with their families and to sponsor that reunification - why is that?" - @amcarmichaelMP #UQs pic.twitter.com/DnTRX2qvuF— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) September 2, 2020
Refugees who have been forced to flee their homes to escape war and persecution are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. We must do all we can to protect them.
Today's vote on the Immigration Bill is an important step to protect refugees, combat traffickers and smugglers and prevent further tragic deaths.
However, the Government has suspended all refugee resettlement programmes, and ended the ‘Dubs scheme’ for unaccompanied child refugees in Europe after resettling just 480 children since 2016.
It is also withdrawing the UK from the Dublin System, which enables people applying for asylum in the EU to be reunited with their family members in another member state, at the end of the Brexit transition period.
This is simply unacceptable.
Today's vote on the Immigration Bill is an important step to protect refugees, combat the traffickers and smugglers, and prevent further tragic deaths in the Channel. Liberal Democrats will continue to fight to secure safe to legal routes to sanctuary to those most in need.