Britain will take 20,000 refugees says Cameron

David Cameron made the announcement to the Commons today.
David Cameron made the announcement to the Commons today.
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Britain will accept up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next four and a half years, David Cameron has announced.

The Prime Minister said sanctuary would be given to refugees who are currently in camps neighbouring the war-ravaged nation.

Britain will use the established UNHCR process to identify those most in need and will expand its existing Syrian vulnerable persons relocation scheme.

Those who arrive will be granted five-year humanitarian protection visas and councils and devolved administrations will be helped to support them as the Government retools its aid budget.

In a statement to the Commons, Mr Cameron said: “We have already provided sanctuary to more than 5,000 Syrians in Britain and have introduced a specific resettlement scheme, alongside those we already have, to help those Syrian refugees particularly at risk.

“But given the scale of the crisis and the suffering of the Syrian people it is right that we should do much more.

“We are proposing that Britain should resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the rest of this parliament.

“In doing so we will continue to show the world that this is a country of extraordinary compassion, always standing up for our values and helping those in need.

“Britain will play its part alongside our other European partners but because we are not part of the EU’s borderless Schengen agreement or its relocation initiative, Britain is able to decide its own approach.”