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7 May 2015

Stevenson Says the Plight of Migrants Attempting to Reach Europe is About Common Decency

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has drawn attention to the thousands of migrants who die in the attempt to reach Europe every year.

In a Scottish Parliament debate yesterday (Wednesday) Mr Stevenson said the discussion was “timely, appropriate and necessary.”

He added:

“The debate focuses on the mare nostrum rescue mission, which has been stopped, and its replacement. Amnesty has provided us with a graphic illustration of how our support has reduced. We used to have six helicopters - we now have one. We used to spend £9.5 million - we now spend less than £3 million.

“The amount of money that is being spent on helping people who are escaping from threat, poverty and hunger is less than one tenth of what we spend on providing the free bus pass in Scotland. That is how tiny the amount of money that is being spent to support people in personal extremity is.”

With support reducing and retreating further from Libya, there has been a huge increase in the number of casualties.

Mr Stevenson quoted from an Amnesty International briefing which states that there are 3.9 million refugees registered in Syria’s neighbouring countries and in Egypt, with only 40,000 places offered by the EU since 2013.

He said:

“The bottom line is that this must not be a borders issue. It is about common decency and humanity, and I support every word of Alex Rowley’s motion.”
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