We have all been shocked by the heart breaking images which emerged last week of children dying in their bid to escape the horrific situation in Syria.
I know many constituents in Romsey and Southampton North have differing views on what should be done to help refugees, but I have received an overwhelming level of correspondence from constituents asking about the response by the UK Government. I am pleased to see the Government has listened to the British people and is acting to ensure the UK helps more refugees, in a safe and responsible way.
The Government plans to accept 20,000 more refugees over the next five years. These refugees will come straight from the camps in the Middle East, to discourage families from making the perilous journeys which have ended in such undignified tragedy. Additionally, the UK has already pledged one billion pound in aid to the humanitarian effort, with £60m of additional funding going toward helping people still in Syria.
Whatever our views on immigration, I know we can all agree that no child, regardless of race or religion, should live in fear of their own government as they must in Syria. Equally, they should not grow up in fear of persecution due to their religious beliefs as many do in areas cut off by the curtain of fundamentalism.
However, the humanitarian act of resettling refugees cannot solve this complex problem. The tyrannical regime of Bashir Al-Assad in Syria, the butchery of ISIL and the unconscionable criminals involved in the nefarious trade in children and families are issues on which the UK must take a tough stance.
It is heart-warming to hear from so many constituents who want to help in some way and I know Romsey Abbey are collecting many items from tents to shoes and food. A full list of items, of which the Abbey is in desperate need, is available on their Facebook page.