As the UK prepares to leave the EU at 11pm tonight, Richard Fuller MP has defended Conservative MPs who voted down a House of Lords Brexit amendment, guaranteeing family reunion rights for unaccompanied child refugees after Brexit.
MPs rejected the safeguards in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill by a margin of 342 votes to 254 – a majority of 88.
The amendment, passed on Tuesday 21 January, was tabled by Lord Dubs, who was himself a child refugee taken in by the UK after fleeing the Nazis.
“It is a complete disgrace that our local Conservative has voted to abandon lone child refugees,” said the Lib Dems’ Henry Vann.
“I urge Richard Fuller to explain the heartlessness of his Government and to explain his vote in support of abandoning child refugees last week.
“Likewise, by voting against giving EU Citizens proof of residence, he is leaving hard-working Bedford residents in limbo.
“If this is not rectified it will be Windrush all over again and it will be on the Conservatives’ watch. Betraying vulnerable children, and our neighbours, friends and co-workers who are EU Citizens was not in their manifesto and the local Conservatives should now be considering their position.”
In response, Richard Fuller MP said, “On this important day that opens a new chapter for our country and when we should be unifying, it is disappointing to read of further seeds of division being sown by the Liberal Democrats.
“The Government has made clear repeatedly, assuredly and forcefully, that the UK will continue to protect the safety, rights and interests of child refugees and to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK to remain here.
“The Liberal Democrats should not be raising fears unnecessarily as we leave the European Union, but sadly that democratic decision by the British people appears to be something their party will never accept.”