Today in the House of Commons MPs voted against Heidi Allen’s amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill by just 20 votes. The bill would have forced the government to assess local councils’ capacity to take in more child refugees from Europe. To date, the government has made no effort to do so.
The government wants to cap the number of children taken in under the Dubs Amendment at 350 – but we know that councils across the country are willing to take in much more. Birmingham has indicated it has an additional 79 places, Lewisham an additional 22, Hastings and Rye have 48 more spaces, Glasgow 16, Bristol 10 among many more.
Once again, our government has turned its back on unaccompanied minors in Europe. With the Dubs Amendment, we had a chance to show that we are an open, welcoming country that supports human rights and protects the most vulnerable.
It is now more important than ever that we continue our work with refugees across Europe to find alternative solutions to their safeguarding.
Again – Heidi Allen’s amendment was only voted down by 20 votes. This is a narrow defeat in what will be a long struggle, and it serves as a reminder of how important it is for us to keep lobbying our MPs for change.