Dubs Amendment - April 2017
I voted against the Dubs amendment with a heavy heart. The sentiment it expressed was laudable but sadly, the effect would have been to make matters worse. That is why it was wrong. Absolving other nations, like France and Germany, of their responsibilities to care for displaced children, orphaned or not, would be a mistake. It would send a message that Britain did not have faith in the provisions available in the rest of the EU, and that would be untrue as many countries - the Dutch, for example - have exemplary childcare, as do many others. Sadly voting for this amendment would send such a message.
Worst of all, it would turn the UK into a kind of Pied Piper, encouraging people to send their children forward to us. That does not mean we should shirk our responsibility to help those most in need; on the contrary, we must do what works. That is why I am proud of what we are doing - taking thousands of the most vulnerable children and families from camps directly, rather than just those fit, strong or rich enough to make the journey to France; donating more in aid than the whole of the rest of the EU combined; and working with allies to halt the trafficking and keep families together. This tragedy of broken families and displaced people is caused by the catastrophe that is Syria. We must not forget that and should focus our attention on helping those most in need while working to end the violence. That must be our priority to help those who cannot help themselves. I realise this is not the easy answer, but it is the right one.