A lot of constituents have written to me regarding family reunification for unaccompanied child refugees, so I thought it would be useful to post my response here.
I completely agree about the importance of this issue. We should be doing everything we can to help reunite those families who have been separated after experiencing the trauma of war, persecution and conflict.
My Labour colleagues and I supported the Dubs amendment to the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill on unaccompanied child refugees at all stages of the bill’s passage. Sadly, as you will no doubt be aware by now, the amendment was finally rejected in the Commons last week by 342 votes to 254, despite the fact that it had passed in the Lords. All of those who voted against it were Conservatives.
I was incredibly saddened by the result. As Lord Dubs said in a tweet after the vote, “What could be more humane than asking that unaccompanied child refugees stranded in Europe be able to join relatives in this country?”.
I would like to reassure my constituents that I will continue to do all I can to support refugees’ rights and I am proud that Lewisham Council has a strong track record in this area.