Refugee crisis in Greece

10th March 2020

Andrew Mitchell questions the Government following the statement on the refugee crisis in Greece.

Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP speaking in the House of Commons, Mar 2020

The whole House will be grateful to the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh South West (Joanna Cherry) for raising this matter and to the Minister for his measured statement and for pointing out that Britain has been by far the largest contributor of humanitarian relief. Will he bear in mind two specific points? The first is that Turkey has been fantastically generous in its support for refugees and migrants. Indeed, there are many who have faced the dreadful misery of all this who owe their lives to the Turkish support. Secondly, Europe—and that must inevitably mean the European Union above all—has failed to come up with the right solutions and, in particular, to forge a comprehensive approach to tackling the migratory crisis and misery.

There is not a lot to disagree with in what my right hon. Friend says. The European Union has very much pledged all the support that is needed, and that includes the rapid border intervention team. We are committed to providing at the root source of the problem, and let us not forget what the root cause of the problem is: the Syrian regime and the Russian forces, in particular their actions in Idlib. Last week, we announced a new package—a further £89 million in humanitarian aid—to help save lives and protect those Syrians who are at an increasing risk of violence in Idlib.