MSP slams ‘red tape’ keeping war victim families apart

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The families of refugees should be allowed to join relatives now living in the UK, MSP Rona Mackay has said.

The Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP has voiced her backing for colleague Angus MacNeil MP Private Members’ bill to change the law.

The Refugee Family Reunion Bill will address specific issues that have split up families and give children the right to be reunited with parents.

The Bill was introduced to the House of Commons on Wednesday, July 19, and has already secured support from the Refugee Council, UNHCR the UN Refugee Agency, Amnesty International, the British Red Cross and Oxfam GB.

Ms Mackay said: “To think that legal red tape prevents children of whom we’re sheltering from war from being reunited with their parents, also refugees, makes absolutely no sense at all.

“To keep a child that has grown up in a war zone away from their parents, when we have the means of reuniting them, is inherently wrong and indefensible.

“The Syrian refugee crisis has been the defining humanitarian crisis of many of our lives, and we have to appreciate the gravity of this situation and do everything we can to ease the pain of its victims.”

Ms Mackay has also lodged a parliamentary motion in Holyrood supporting the Bill.