BY AISHA QADRI
The UN has recently warned Prime Minister David Cameron to not turn his back on refugees as winter is approaching. This comes after Cameron’s statement that Britain will take in 20,000 refugees over the next five years; a minute amount compared to neighbouring EU states.
Migration expert and chairman of London School of Economics, Peter Sutherland claimed that the European Commission’s response to the refugee crisis has been “woefully inadequate” and has implied that Britain must step up to do the same as other EU states such as Germany and Sweden, who in contrast to Britain are Europe’s largest recipients for refugees and have collectively received more than 150,000 refugees this year.
Migration officials in Sweden expect to receive an estimated 170,000 asylum seekers by the end of 2015 compared to Cameron’s not so generous pledge to receive 4,000. This is a prime example of Cameron’s deplorably insufficient response to the refugee crisis despite Britain being a wealthy nation which has the means to support the refugees.
It is true that the influx of refugees is putting pressure on states such as Germany, Sweden and Hungary but this emphasises the severity of the situation as thousands flee the Middle East and North Africa. What can be expected if those states are solely the ones stepping up to their response?
All three states are now introducing strict border controls due to the vast amounts of refugees flowing in, albeit the treatment of the refugees is questionable, whilst Britain will not even open the British borders to allow a sufficient amount of refugees in.
Despite the fact that Britain alongside other Western states plays a huge role in supplying the rebels in the Middle East with ammunition, Cameron is refusing to response adequately to the humanitarian crisis that is exacerbating rapidly as tensions and violence increases in the Middle East.
Glasgow, however, has taken the lead in accepting and offering refuge to the first significant amount of refugees as the cold settles in.
Nonetheless, it is beyond dispute that there is much more Britain and the EU can and must do as global powers to address this humanitarian crisis and step up to their moral responsibilities.