THE MP for Fareham said today that the UK needs to focus on stabilising Syria rather than relocating people to Europe.
It comes as Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that Britain will take “thousands more” refugees from camps on the borders of war-torn Syria.
Suella Fernandes told The News: ‘I am proud of the UK’s history of offering asylum to those who need it.
‘We also have one of the longest running and largest refugee resettlement schemes in the EU.
‘We have been at the forefront of the international response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria – the £900m of humanitarian aid we have already pledged makes us the second biggest bilateral donor in the world.
‘We have granted protection to almost 5,000 Syrians through normal asylum procedures and provided over 18 million rations of food since the crisis began.
‘However, it is also an established principle of international law that people in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach - and that country must take responsibility for processing those claims.
‘When I worked as a barrister specialising in immigration and asylum law, I dealt with hundreds of asylum cases and have seen how the UK is playing a leading role in pushing for action through the EU and the UN to tackle the causes of illegal immigration and the organised trafficking gangs behind it.
‘We must focus on stabilising the countries from which the migrants are coming.
‘This regional solution is the only sustainable way to address the flow of migrants, rather than relocating people to Europe.’