ELMBRIDGE CAN MEETS LOCAL MP TO DISCUSS SUPPORTING REFUGEES
8 March 2017
Elmbridge CAN met with Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, on Friday 3 March to talk about our work with refugees and what he can do to support us.
Dominic expressed his support for our objectives and Elmbridge Borough Council’s commitment to Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme. He was keen to stress that this has to be balanced against the needs of local people, but acknowledged that a community-based approach could be part of the solution.
Dominic agreed that child refugees in Europe with family in the UK should be reunited through safe and legal channels. He added that he would raise a question in Parliament about why applications from children with family reunification rights in the UK are being delayed. We'll follow Dominic’s progress on this and report back.
We asked Elmbridge constituents to submit questions for Dominic before the meeting. He has promised to answer these in full. We’ll let you know as soon as he responds.
On Dubs, Dominic reiterated his support of the Government line that the Dubs Scheme creates a ‘pull factor’ and encourages human trafficking. This is despite the fact that the scheme is time-limited to children who arrived in Europe before 20 March 2016 – restricting any possible pull effect. This view also ignores the evidence that it’s the absence of, not the existence of, safe and legal routes that push children into the hands of human traffickers.
We wrote to Dominic after the meeting to ask him to reconsider his position. But despite this request, Dominic voted against the Dubs amendment on Tuesday, for the second time.
Although we strongly regret Dominic’s decision, we remain optimistic about the future. Elmbridge CAN’s Co-Chair, Becky Hill said:
“We’re pleased that we had a constructive meeting with Dominic Raab, and we look forward to his positive words translating into positive actions for the benefit of refugees.”
We’ll continue to argue that vulnerable children in Europe urgently need to be protected and to help build a community of welcome in Elmbridge. In the light of the Dubs vote, your support is needed more than ever.
There are lots of ways you can support our work – from telling your friends to hosting a refugee though Refugees at Home or volunteering with us.
Image: Elmbridge CAN