Taunton Deane Liberal Democrats have called on Taunton Deane MP, Rebecca Pow, to this week vote in favour of safe and legal routes to sanctuary for vulnerable refugees.
In a letter to Rebecca Pow, Federica Smith-Roberts, who is Leader of Somerset West and Taunton Council but also founder of local charity: Refugee Aid From Taunton (RAFT), argued that safe and legal routes are the best way to “combat people smuggling and human trafficking” and to prevent “dangerous attempts to cross the Channel.”
The votes come on Wednesday [04/11/2020] in an amendment to the Immigration Bill just days after four people, including children, tragically lost their lives trying to cross the Channel.
The Liberal Democrats, who are also urging the public to back their petition, want MPs to back proposals that would maintain the rights for refugees in Europe to be reunited with their families and ensure that unaccompanied child refugees can be resettled in the UK.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said:
"Within just the last few days, yet more people have tragically lost their lives trying to cross the Channel. It is utterly heartbreaking, especially for the friends and families left behind.
"It’s hard to imagine how desperate people must be to climb into these boats in search of a better life. It just isn't right that vulnerable people are left no choice but to make these perilous attempts.”
"Our priority must be to save lives, and that means providing safe and legal routes to sanctuary in the UK for refugees.
"For Rebecca Pow, that means doing the only decent thing and voting to maintain the rights for refugees in Europe to be reunited with their families and ensure that unaccompanied child refugees can be resettled in the UK."