Lucy Frazer MP tells House of Commons of the ‘proud history’ of this country of accepting the vulnerable into our society
PUBLISHED: 10:41 17 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:41 17 September 2015
Britain must be willing to give the same level of care to refugees being settled in this country and we do to our own vulnerable families, says MP Lucy Frazer.
The MP for SE Cambs told a House of Commons debate: “Many voluntary organisations already do a fantastic job in holding the hands of the vulnerable in times of need.
“But when we take 20,000 refugees, including many children and women who have suffered violence and abuse, we must bring together local communities, charities, and local and central Government so that we provide advice, homes, interpretation facilities and the kind of care that we give to our own vulnerable families.”
Ms Frazer said in a Commons speech yesterday that Britain has a “proud history” of accepting the vulnerable into our society.
“That has not only saved lives but enriched our culture,” she said. “My family certainly owes a debt of gratitude to this country, for giving it refuge when it faced persecution.
“In times like these, we must live up to our international and moral obligations but we must remember three important things when considering the crisis that faces us. “First, our responsibility is not only to provide a safe haven. The task that faces us is not simply to offer a land in which the refugees can live; it is to give these people the chance of a future, and that means so much more than simply giving them the right to live here.
“Each person’s quality of life is important. Refugees have a moral and legal right to be treated properly, and that means integrating them into our communities as soon as they arrive, giving them homes, providing access to learning the language and access to study, to work and to medical facilities.”
She said other countries must follow the lead of Britain in terms of the amount of aid being provided.
“The £1 billion that we have already provided in international aid is vital,” she said. “We have provided 50 per cent more than Germany and 14 times the contribution of France.
“We must also work with local partners to seek a solution to the political crisis in Libya and Syria.
“Finally, although we will benefit greatly from the huge talent that the refugees offer, the longer this crisis goes on the more Syria will lose out from this incredible human potential.
“We must work in the UK and in the camps to provide people with the skills that they need to rebuild Syria. We cannot deprive Syria of its brightest and its best. That is not a long-term solution.
“I am proud to be British and to offer a home to the most vulnerable but let us not underestimate the scale and complexity of the task ahead. I am confident that this is a challenge that Britain can live up to.”