Migrant Crisis - 'Let them Fly' campaign

Let me assure you that the Government is committed to helping tackle the migrant crisis. The refugee family reunion policy allows immediate family members of a person in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection status - that is a spouse or partner and children under the age of 18, who formed part of the family unit before the sponsor fled their country of origin - to reunite with them in the UK. I am very glad that such a scheme exists, which makes sure that family members that have been divided can once again be reunited.

I appreciate your belief that the Government should expand the scheme, however as I understand it there are no plans to widen the criteria. The criteria are fully compliant with the UK's international obligations, and enable thousands of people each year to be reunited with their families in the UK. Three discretionary resettlement schemes are also in place for recognised refugees for whom resettlement is the most appropriate answer. On a similar note, I should also point out that the UK's international obligations under the Refugee Convention do not extend to accepting asylum claims from outside the United Kingdom. There is no provision in the Immigration Rules for someone to be given permission to travel to the UK to seek asylum or temporary refuge.

It is important to note that the Government is also making a significant contribution to support refugees and their families in other ways. The UK has pledged £2.3 billion in humanitarian aid in response to the Syrian crisis, and as well as resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees the Government has asked the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to lead on a new initiative to resettle unaccompanied refugee children from conflict regions. No other country in Europe is doing more than us to help try and solve this crisis.