Liberal Democrats Want to Spend £4.3bn on Taking in an Extra 50,000 Syrian Migrants

'Child' Calais Migrants UK
Dan Kitwood/Getty

The Liberal Democrats have committed to taking in an extra 50,000 migrants from Syria by 2020 at an estimated cost of £4.3 billion.

The left wing party also wishes to bring back the so-called Dubs Amendment which eased immigration for “child” migrants, particularly in Calais, according to The Guardian. The scheme was quietly terminated amidst controversy about the true age of those arriving.

Challenging the Labour Party to make the same commitments, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said the United Kingdom “shames itself” by failing to open its borders.

“We are only talking about 50,000 people,” he said. “We are talking about doing what is right.”

Research by the party has previously revealed there are already 35,000 people in Britain who have been waiting for social housing for 10 years, with at least 104,000 having waited at least five years. Farron did not say whether or not his 50,000 migrants would receive priority over these people on the waiting lists.

Farron further claimed that migrants “are people with bags of energy and desire to make this place their home and to contribute, and yet far too many politicians put barriers in the way”.

New statistics from Europe, however, indicate that over half a million migrants taken in by Germany are on welfare, with the Institute for Labour Research (IAB) indicating that fewer than three per cent of new arrivals had found work in December 2016.

The Liberal Democrats appear to have taken their policy lead from the United Nations, which asked Britain to take in 10,000 migrants a year and make it easier for them to bring over family members.

The global body welcomed the Liberal Democrats commitment on social media, writing that it was “great to see Lib Dem’s [sic] showing a meaningful commitment on providing safe and legal pathways” for migrants – a highly unusual move during a general election campaign.

In June 2012, the United Nations Special Representative for International Migration, Peter Sutherland, declared that the Conservative government’s goal of bringing net immigration down from “the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands” would risk its status as a “tolerant, open society”.

The former European Commissioner also urged the European Union to “do its best” to undermine the “homogeneity” of its member-states, in order to foster “the development of multicultural states”.

Sutherland, a non-executive director with Goldman Sachs International from 1995 to 2015, told the House of Lords that immigration is a “crucial dynamic for economic growth” which politicians should embrace, “however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens”.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery

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