Julie Ward speaks out on refugees stranded outdoors in freezing conditions

Last night Julie spoke at the European Parliament on the urgent need to provide support for the refugees who are stranded outdoors across Europe in freezing conditions. Our governments refuse to live up to their commitments, and we need action now.

 

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 In her speech to the European Parliament plenary, Julie said:

 

"While some in this House have been busy with petty political deals, selling out their ideals to the highest bidder, and whilst my own Prime Minister in the UK keeps distracting with an incoherent fiction about hard Brexit, human beings are freezing to death on the street and in camps across Europe.

Refugees and asylum seekers escaping war have been stranded outdoors with no support in temperatures as low as -30 °C, snowed under on Greek islands or pushed back by hostile government authorities across the Balkans. Men, women and children who had managed to escape atrocities and war, and to cross seas and rivers are now being killed by winter and by our governments’ cruel intransigence.

The UN Refugee Agency has urged European governments to take urgent action to help these refugees and we, in this House, have called on our governments to act on their commitments time and time again. Yet they have not done so – shame on them.

I would recommend that all colleagues here do what they can on a personal level: donate to local grassroots charities, go out and help, campaign in person. Yes, we need emergency support, but if governments refuse to act then citizens must, and I thank them for their compassion. I am very proud that people from my northwest England constituency – doctors, dentists, teachers, carpenters, social workers, youth workers – are all helping the refugees."

 

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