Fri 9 Sep, 2016

Scotland can and would take in many thousands more if only we had the ability to do so. Ross Greer MSP

Ross Greer MSP, External Affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, says last night's Scottish Parliament vote to support devolution of powers over asylum and refugees will put pressure on the UK Government to consider the issue.

Holyrood voted for an amendment by Mr Greer to a Government motion celebrating the arrival of the first thousand Syrian refugees to Scotland. The Green amendment called for devolution of asylum support, accommodation and advice, and for the UK Government to support the creation of safe and legal routes for refugees to reach the EU.

Ross Greer MSP said:

“The parliament’s support for my amendment puts pressure on the Westminster government to respond to the clear desire in Scotland to do more for those who come here seeking refuge. The devolution of asylum power received cross-party agreement during the Smith Commission process but seems to have been cast aside since then. 

"It is deeply troubling that UK's response to the refugee crisis is being led by a Prime Minister who while Home Secretary sent infamous Go Home vans into our communities, and now wants to build a wall in Calais. There is not an ounce of humanity from the Westminster Government on this issue.

"By contrast, Scotland’s actions have been exemplary. Many of our local authorities are at the top of the rankings across the UK for the number of Syrians seeking refuge that they have taken in. Yet we have only welcomed 1,000 refugees - a drop in the ocean. Scotland can and would take in many thousands more if only we had the ability to do so. I hope last night's vote at Holyrood sends a strong message to Westminster to review where power lies."


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