British MPs to debate Syria refugee plan

London, Sep 8 (IANS) British MPs are set to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the country’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis, the media reported on Tuesday.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said Britain will accept up to 20,000 people from camps surrounding Syria over the next five years, with priority given to vulnerable children, BBC reported.

The new arrivals will be offered five-year humanitarian visas, under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme and their resettlement will be paid for in the first year from the overseas aid budget.

But the Labour Party said the prime minister’s decision was inadequate and secured the three-hour debate to be held later in the day.

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper insisted Britain must also help refugees who have already reached Europe.

Cooper, who persuaded Commons Speaker John Bercow to hold the emergency debate, urged the prime minister to reconsider and “look at what more we are able to do with councils, with communities across the country who have come forward asking to help.”

“He (Cameron) has said he does not want to encourage people to travel – I would say to him they are travelling already, they are not waiting for a response from the British government,” she said.

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