Carshalton and Wallington’s Tom Brake has slammed the government’s plan to allow 20,000 refugees into the UK by 2020, claiming it’s ‘not good enough’.
The Lib Dem MP said he was disappointed at what the UK was offering compared to others such as Germany which is estimated to have taken in 800,000 asylum seekers by the end of 2015.
Mr Brake, who attended a ‘refugees welcome’ rally last week said he believed that people want to do more but have concerns about the pressure it would place on public services.
He said: “The concerns that they have got, not only in regards to refugees but any additional people coming from anywhere to the London borough of Sutton, are to do with the pressure that it would put on housing, schools and GP practices, and I think that is a legitimate concern.”
Germany has become the epicentre of the refugee crisis and this weekend chose to reinstate border controls with Austria to stem the flow of people.
Mr Brake said: “The figures the government has talked about in terms of 20,000 over four or five years compared to 800,000 in one year in Germany is just not good enough.
“One aspect of that scheme that I am going to challenge is the way refugees are allocated across the different EU countries.
“The way these figures are determined does not take into account the density of population in a country, clearly something that should be taken into account”
“The UK should be willing to resettle people in proportion to our size and GDP.”
Mr Brake also argued that Middle Eastern countries had a role to play in helping those fleeing Syria.
“They need to respond and can’t pretend this is not a problem they should share.
“They need to step up and put more funding into the camps surrounding Syria and be willing to relocate citizens, many who are Muslims as they are.”
While Brake has been critical of the proportional support the UK has offered to displaced refugees, he was keen to stress the difference between those escaping the violence and those that are immigrating for purely financial needs.
He said: “The people of Sutton and the UK have no responsibility for taking economic migrants in from Ghana, Nigeria, Kosovo and Serbia, none whatsoever.
“Those people should be returned to their countries of origin, and should be returned as soon as possible.”
Image courtesy of Tom Brake via YouTube, with thanks