Labour MP Demands UK Takes in Tens of Thousands of Afghanis Under Potential Refugee Resettlement Scheme

Internally displaced Afghan people, who fled from the northern province due to battle betw
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

A Labour MP has demanded the UK take in tens of thousands of Afghanis after the government signalled that it was planning a separate refugee policy likely modelled on the Syrian scheme that saw over 20,000 Syrians come to the UK.

Reports from Tuesday revealed that the government is drawing up plans that would create a “bespoke resettlement scheme” for Afghans fleeing the Taliban to come to the UK, modelled on the scheme devised under previous Tory prime minister David Cameron that has so far seen 20,319 Syrians brought from refugee camps in the Middle East directly to the UK since 2015.

The Times reports that the programme will be separate from the usual asylum system and will allegedly be intended for women and girls, according to sources speaking to the newspaper of record.

This morning Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that such plans were coming together, telling BBC Breakfast that the United Kingdom had “always been a country that has provided safe haven for those fleeing persecution”.

Mr Raab added that the details, devised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel, would be revealed “in due course”. The Home Office confirmed on Monday night that the UK had already resettled 3,300 Afghani interpreters, staff, and their families and said it would be “guided by the capacity of local authorities” when considering how many Afghanis can come to the UK.

Shadow Foreign Office Minister Stephen Kinnock said on Tuesday that Britain — and defacto its taxpayers — must make a “bold and ambitious and generous offer” of intakes.

Asked if 20,000, the precedent set by the Syrian programme was about right, Labour’s Kinnock told Justin Webb on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We need to see an offer that is also backed up with the capacity to process it. As you pointed out, the situation on the ground is difficult at the moment, and we got to ensure we don’t up an offer that we can’t actually deliver on. So we need to see the detail from the government, but it is absolutely right that we make an ambitious and bold offer.”

Responding to whether he thought a figure in the “tens of thousands” was adequate, Kinnock said: “I would have thought so, yes. Yes. We, of course, need to see the detail, but I think this needs to be a significant offer.”

Reacting to Kinnock’s call from the Opposition for more migration, Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the oldest conservative think tank The Bow Group, told Breitbart London that the immigration situation in the UK was “unsustainable” and “the British public continues to oppose mass immigration by an overwhelming majority. The government should not be listening to the liberal media, the Davos elite, or the Westminster bubble, but their own public.”

Mr Harris-Quinney also warned of the security risks if asylum seekers are not properly vetted, saying: “Granting asylum to tens of thousands of people from a terrorist hotspot without any records, passports or documentation, places the British public in severe danger.”

Condemning Labour and its former leader Tony Blair for its interventionist foreign policies in the Middle East, The Bow Group chairman said: “The last Labour government made the decision, under false pretences, to send British troops into Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“The results over 20 years have been catastrophic,” Harris-Quinney continued, noting the civilian deaths and the British troops who “have been lost and debilitated. Billions have been spent, the Middle East has been destabilised, and we have faced endless refugee crises. All of this has occurred for no good reason, other than hubris and lies.”

“In a just society, Tony Blair, members of his government, and subsequent governments, would face criminal prosecution for their abuse of power and dereliction of duty on these matters.

“Labour should be apologising to the British public, not asking them to bear the brunt of their catastrophes,” he added.

If Labour demanding promises of mass refugee admittance despite not being in government or consulting the public sounds familiar, it’s because it is.

During the 2015 migrant crisis, Labour MP Rachael Maskell said that not even 30,000 Syrians was enough, essentially calling for the UK to accept as many as possible until the country was at “saturation point”.

Ms Maskell said in September of that year:

“We need to shout so much more and say 20,000 is not enough, 30,000 is not enough. We will keep going until we hit our saturation point because what does it matter if we have to wait another week for a hospital visit? Or if our class sizes are slightly bigger? Or if our city is slightly fuller? What does it matter if things are slightly more challenging? If we have to pay a little bit more into the system?

Gerald Kaufman MP also urged that same month that the UK should “do what the Germans” — who took in more than one million mostly Syrians and Iraqis — did, and take in 10,000 every day, despite the now-passed MP accepting that there would be financial problems and “assimilation problems”.


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