Wednesday 25 November 2020
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huffingtonpost - 1 month ago

Government Suffers Fourth Defeat On Post-Brexit Child Refugees Rights – But Still Won t Budge

The government has suffered a fourth defeat on protecting the rights of child refugees after BrexitThe Lords, by a majority of 78, once again backed an amendment proposed by Lord Dubs to ensure lone child refugees in Europe maintain their right to be reunited with family in the UK once the Brexit transition ends on December 31.It was the fourth attempt by Dubs, who came to the UK as a child fleeing the Nazis on a kindertransport, to ensure the continuation of children s family reunion rights after Brexit.As prime minister, Theresa May accepted his demands and promised to maintain these rights.But after taking office Boris Johnson deleted the protections from the flagship Withdrawal Agreement Act 2020, which enacted his Brexit deal.Since then, Dubs has won three votes on the issue only to see MPs throw out his amendments.Last week, a small Tory rebellion of six MPs, including ex-ministers David Davis and Tim Loughton, was not enough to change the law.Following the vote, Dubs told HuffPost UK: The only winners if we remove legal routes to safety for refugee children trying to reach family here are the cri the traffickers and people smugglers who prey on refugees. Closing legal routes will not mean fewer refugees making a perilous journey to safety, but it will make those journeys even more dangerous. There is also a profound question of human principle at stake. We all have a duty to play our part in this global refugee crisis at least by helping reunite children with their families. I have visited Calais and the refugee camps in Greece. The conditions were appalling. They are no place for children. We should take our fair share, just as other European countries have. This is the fourth time the government has been told to support the right of family reunion for child refugees. It s time they listened. Ministers have maintained that the government is seeking to negotiate with the EU new arrangements for lone child refugees to be reunited with family in the UK.But peers fear that the EU is refusing to discuss the issue during the stalled talks on a post-Brexit relationship, and question why Johnson stripped the rights from his own legislation if he wants to maintain them.It also comes after Patel warned of a crackdown on people seeking refugee status in the UK, including by floating ideas such as sending them 4,000 miles away to Ascension Island, or repelling dinghies crossing the Channel by somehow creating waves.The defeat sets up a battle in the Commons but the Dubs amendment is likely to be thrown out again by MPs unless the government changes it position, given Johnson has a Commons majority of 80.Meanwhile, Labour did win a concession from the government, which promised to provide an assessment of how the end of free movement of EU citizens into the UK affects social care.It comes after the Migration Advisory Committee warned that better pay is urgently needed to attract more British carers to the sector to cover what will likely be stark shortages of staff once free movement ends.Related... Exclusive: Child Refugee Resettlement Plummeted After Boris Johnson Became PM Lords Defeat Priti Patel On Child Refugees’ Post-Brexit Family Reunion Rights Opinion: Boris Johnson Made A Promise To Child Refugees. Now He Must Keep It


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