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UK to resettle unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Europe


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The Prime Minister announced at Prime Minister’s Questions this week that the UK will resettle unaccompanied asylum seeking children from Europe. The Government’s focus remains on supporting countries most affected by the continuing migration crisis in the Middle East and North Africa where they think the UK can make the biggest difference and to provide resettlement to those most in need of support in the region. The Government has reflected on what more the UK can do to support children at risk of exploitation. The Government […]

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A Parliamentary Question on the Immigration Bill


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Last night, I was able to ask the Minister of State for the Home Office a Parliamentary Question during a debate on the Immigration Bill and the settling of migrants from conflict zones: Steve Baker: Share this contribution A few minutes ago, my right hon. Friend mentioned the actions of our European partners. Can he give the House an indication of how this Government’s actions compare with those of our European neighbours? Minister for Immigration (James Brokenshire): Share this contribution […]

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Syrian refugees and migrants


The UK is the second biggest bilateral donor of humanitarian aid to Syria, having already pledged £1 billion as well as some £60 million additional funding to help those still in the country. Since the crisis began nearly 5000 Syrians and their dependents have been granted asylum through normal procedures, and the Vulnerable Persons Relocations scheme is already up and running, with hundreds of the most vulnerable Syrians welcomed into the country for protection and support. The Prime Minister has […]

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Answers to the key questions on Syria


Online and in the comments on my last article, members of the public are raising legitimate questions which were, I think, answered in last night’s debate. To read the media, one would think we had voted for a general war: we did not. The motion, as I reported, was tightly drafted. The speeches made by the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, and his Labour shadow, Hilary Benn, made the case clearly. Mr Benn’s speech was outstanding: it may be found here by using […]

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Why I am supporting the extension of military action against ISIL/Daesh to Syria


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In a previous article, I said I would decide whether to support the Government in extending military action against ISIL/Daesh into Syria once I had seen the motion. The motion is here and it is as follows (layout and emphasis my own): That this House notes that ISIL poses a direct threat to the United Kingdom; welcomes United Nations Security Council Resolution 2249 which determines that ISIL constitutes an ‘unprecedented threat to international peace and security‘ and calls on states to […]

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Syria: The Prime Minister’s response the Foreign Affairs Select Committee


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Last night on Wycombe Sound, I promised to make available the Prime Minister’s response to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s inquiry on Syria. The inquiry produced the report The extension of offensive British military operations to Syria (PDF). It concluded: In the face of a humanitarian and security catastrophe, there is a powerful sense that something must be done in Syria. We agree that it is a key British national interest to defeat ISIL and we consider this to be a necessary goal for […]

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The attacks on Paris and potential action in Syria


The atrocity in Paris last weekend has horrified people across the globe.  It is clear this barbaric attack has underlined all decent people’s rejection of terror and violence and reaffirmed their commitment to live in an open and free society. It has reinforced everyone’s intolerance of violence and extremism. The freedoms we enjoy were won at great cost and should not be surrendered in cowardice. Our way of life is worth defending. Those of us on the centre right of politics believe […]

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Syria vote – update


I’m grateful to all the constituents who have written to me since the vote to approve in principle military action in Syria, in which I voted against. An overwhelming majority of correspondents have approved of that decision, just as they have also condemned the use of chemical weapons. We all want action to end the violence and outrageous suffering in Syria. General Lord Dannatt, a previous head of the British Army, described the vote as ‘victory for common sense’ and said, “I’m absolutely […]

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Are these events another stage in the death of neo-conservatism? I hope so


There is in centre-right political parties a strand of thought known as “neo-conservatism”. Like socialists, neo-conservatives talk about freedom but believe in power, not liberty under law. We have seen their influence in the words and actions of the past few days. Wikipedia provides a summary: Today’s neo-conservatives unite around three common themes: A belief deriving from religious conviction that the human condition is defined as a choice between good and evil and that the true measure of political character is […]

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Government-bench MPs were decisive in moderating policy on Syria


Anyone reading the BBC news site this morning might think Labour, the party which led us into Iraq, had saved the day. Via BBC News – MPs debate Syria after ministers drop quick vote on action: MPs are set to debate military action in Syria in principle only, after the government dropped plans for a speedy vote on British intervention. A Commons motion to be debated later states that a final vote on action should be held only after UN […]

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