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Don't let the Conservatives make refugees the enemy

August 17, 2020 9:36 AM
By Tim Farron
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

This week the country has seen harrowing images from the English Channel. Desperate people in tiny plastic dinghies, some desperately emptying water from their sinking boat, forced into a perilous journey as they flee their homes to escape war and persecution.

It's a disgrace that the Government has chosen refugees as their next distraction from their mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic, an impending economic crisis, and failure to protect jobs.

Boris Johnson and the Conservatives want us to turn our attention away from how they've failed our country, and towards refugees. So let's see how they're failing refugees, too.

Boris Johnson and the Conservatives want us to turn our attention away from how they've failed our country, and towards refugees.

The Conservatives have failed to meet even their own commitments on resettling child refugees. They have refused to expand family reunion rules so that unaccompanied child refugees can sponsor family members to join them.

They've chosen to take the UK out of Europe-wide protections for unaccompanied refugee children, putting these childrens' safety at risk. And they have made no commitment on refugee resettlement beyond next year.

This is a disgrace. The Conservatives are failing people in the most dire of situations. And not only are they failing refugees - they're waging war against them in the media and online with their vile rhetoric.

The Government is waging war against refugees in the media and online

The Conservatives want you to see refugees as the enemy. They want to make it harder for people to come to the UK, even when fleeing cruel regimes, brutal wars, or economic crises that put lives at risk.

And by making seeking refuge in the UK harder, they're pushing people into the hands of people smugglers and human traffickers. By making safe, legal routes to sanctuary impossible, they're forcing people into life-threatening situations.

by making seeking refuge in the UK harder, the COnservatives are pushing people into the hands of people smugglers and human traffickers

Refugees contribute so much to our country and to our economy. But, more importantly, they have just as much of a right to safety, family, and opportunity as we do.

We must do all we can to protect people forced to flee their homes to escape unimaginable circumstances.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to guarantee continued rights for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in Europe to be reunited with family members in the UK, and make a new commitment to resettling vulnerable refugees.

Don't let the Conservatives make refugees the enemy. The Liberal Democrats will always fight to protect refugees and make the UK a safe sanctuary for those in need.