7 months to save child refugees – Tories criticised

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor

A row has broken out in parliament as child refugees who will now be given access to the UK, “by the end of the year,” reports the Mirror.

The Government has been attacked as this could mean a seven-month wait to come into Britain. Labour’s Yvette Cooper was furious and said: “Seven months may be a fast time for a bureaucrat – it’s a very slow time for a child.”

The argument broke only a matter of hours after Conservative MPs backed down under pressure and agreed to let these stranded young people into the country. Lord Dubs, 83, a former child refugee who fled the Nazi Germany, was one of the most vocal supporters of a change to the original ruling.

His changes to the Immigration Bill will now mean stranded children who arrived in the European Union prior to March 20th can enter the British Isles.

Yvette Cooper told MPs during an urgent debate that: “Children are at risk right now

“There are 11-year-olds still sleeping in tents in Calais on their own.

“There are 14-year-olds who want to be surgeons who have been out of school for two years.

“There are teenage boys who have been abused who are at risk of being abused again.

“There are teenage girls who can’t escape forced marriages”.

The argument arose when a Downing Street spokesman said: “It is a new scheme so we need to work with councils to get it up and running and that is why we expect we will have the first children arriving by the end of this year.”

However, Mr Brokenshire, Immigration Minister, said he had simply given December as a possible limit, saying: “That doesn’t mean it will take seven months”.

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