Dornan to lead debate on taking action to protect refugees and asylum seekers across Europe.
Scotland has always been proud to stand with refugees and asylum seekers and Glasgow in particular has always made people fleeing unimaginable hardship welcome. That the highest number of refugees and asylum seekers come from Syria, Libya, and Eritrea tells us much about the nature of the violence that people are fleeing from. Across Europe we have a responsibility to do what we can to assist these people. It is encouraging to see the beginnings of more serious talks about implementing a Europe wide strategy. I believe it is imperative that the UK, and Scotland, play our part in this strategy
Today I laid the following motion in the Scottish Parliament which is marked for Member's Business.
"That the Parliament recognises the work of charities and organisations across Scotland, including the Greater Pollok Integration Network and Glasgow the Caring City based in the Glasgow Cathcart constituency that have supported asylum seekers and refugees in Glasgow for many years; notes the continuing forced displacement and refugee crisis with people seeking asylum or refuge from places including Syria, Libya and Eritrea arriving daily in Europe; appreciates that the numbers of people reaching Europe is dwarfed by people seeking refuge in neighbouring countries including Jordan; notes the deaths of at least 70 asylum seekers in the back of a truck close to the Austrian border; notes the comments of the Austrian interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, who said that ‘the tragedy again underlined the urgent need for common EU policies to protect migrants and to combat people traffickers’; considers the European response to date to have been lacklustre and the position of the UK Government to continue to stand on the sidelines to be senseless and untenable; believes it imperative that countries across Europe come together and put in place a European strategy to deal with the crisis both with people coming via the Mediterranean and those waiting in Calais; notes recent comments by Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande looking to discuss such a strategy at the next meeting of the European Commission in October 2015, and further notes calls on the UK Government to join them in opting-in to the EU resettlement programme and taking other positive steps to assist across the continent and to stop playing politics with the lives of so many people seeking refuge from unimaginable hardship in their home countries."
Pending cross party support I hope that this motion will be debated in Parliament in the next few weeks.