Child refugees should be able to join their families after Brexit – but we need to act now.
NEW STOP PRESS (9th June 2018, afternoon)
There is now a new amendment, since this letter was drafted. The Government has now accepted quite a bit of what the original amendment says, BUT their draft says that children can only reunite with nuclear family (ie not uncles and aunts) and there’s no mention of adults benefiting. Please ask your MP to support the new amendment, and not the watered down Government one. NEW LETTER pasted at end of this and at this link.New letter to MPs re Dubs 111 amendment
In a matter of days, MPs will vote on an Amendment * that could keep open a vital family reunion route for refugees, including unaccompanied children, after Britain leaves the EU.
Currently, refugees who reach Europe can request to be reunited with members of their family who are living in another European country. This means that if a lone child arrives to Greece, and they have a close family member living in the UK, they can be safely brought here – without having to take a perilous journey across the continent, sleeping rough and at grave risk of exploitation.
This route has given safe passage to hundreds of unaccompanied children – and in doing so, it has kept them from the hands of exploitative smugglers, and has allowed them to rebuild their lives in the care of their loved ones. Rather than growing up in a refugee camp, they can live in safety with a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or sibling.
But Britain’s exit from the European Union could result in our exit from this scheme – and so, on behalf of unaccompanied children and refugee families, we need your help.
An Amendment put forward by Lord Alf Dubs and supported by Lib Dem Baroness Shas Sheehan, will be debated in the House of Commons. The Amendment will enshrine this route (currently part of the EU’s Dublin III Regulation) in law – and give refugee families, fleeing war and persecution, the chance to rebuild their lives together.
Will you write to your MP, and ask them to vote for Lord Dubs’ Amendment when it comes to the Commons?
There is a template letter you can use, accessed here, letter to MPs dublin III,
OR you can copy and paste the text from below,
OR you could use the link on http://safepassage.org.uk/get-involved/support-dubs-2-amendment/
*(‘Maintenance of refugee family unity within Europe’)
The amendment aims to preserve “Specified effects” of the “Dublin Regulation” (Regulation (EU) No. 604/2013), namely those provisions, and associated rights and obligations, that allow for those seeking asylum, including unaccompanied minors, adults and children, to join a family member, sibling or relative in the UK.
TEXT of suggested letter to your MP:
Dear [recipient name and position will go here],
I need you to support the amendments from Yvette Cooper and Lord Dubs to the EU Withdrawal Bill on Tuesday. [submission:values:your_story_will_go_here]
Britain’s departure from the EU, shouldn’t put children’s lives at risk. But that’s what could happen if we don’t ensure safe and legal family reunion can continue.
This week the Government tabled a concession on Lords amendment 24 that agrees to ensure unaccompanied children can continue to reunite with some family members in Britain after Brexit.
This is a big step forward and wouldn’t have happened without the support of MPs from Parties across the Commons.
But although a step forward this doesn’t go far enough.
The Government’s amendment in lieu would prevent children from reuniting with uncles, aunts and minor siblings after Brexit, something they can currently do under EU Dublin rules.
This isn’t just a minor issue.
Many of the children who reunite with family in Britain from Europe each year, reunite with uncles and aunts. It is often because their parents are missing or dead that they are alone in the first place.
That’s why I’m asking you to support Yvette Cooper’s amendments that would ensure child refugees aren’t prevented from reuniting with uncles, aunts and siblings in Europe.
And will you speak in the debate to ask that any future arrangement to make sure family reunion is kept open not just to unaccompanied children but for spouses and dependent children too?
This Bill will determine the kind of society we want to be after we leave the EU. With your support, we can ensure that Britain is a welcoming country to refugees and does not close down their legal routes to safety.
[your name will go here]
[your email address will go here]