More deaths, more shame on Europe and a glimmer of hope from Germany

Refugee charities urge UK Goverment to to help Syrian refugees. (c) Oxfam

In the last few days at least two hundred people have died in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean from Libya. Another 70 people, mostly Syrians, were found dead in the back of a lorry in Hungary. Grim, horrific and completely avoidable deaths.

We are sickened and ashamed at this news as we know are many people across Scotland, the UK and Europe.

The people risking their lives on these journeys are desperate. They are seeking our help to protect them from persecution, civil war and crimes against humanity. People are forced to risk their lives making the same journeys that continue to lead to so many deaths because there are no safe and legal routes to reach safety or reunite with family members in Europe.

The UK Government's response to this humanitarian crisis is to build higher fences. It peddles the myth that Britain is 'full up' and we 'can't take any more'. We’ve seen Ministers twist and manipulate language so that ‘refugee’ - an internationally-recognised term for people in need of protection -  becomes the more nebulous term 'migrant', frequently exchanged for 'economic migrant'. 

Meanwhile, the German Government announced last week that it will accept 800,000 refugees this year. The response from German leaders and 60% of its citizens was that the country ‘will cope’.

Germany is showing true leadership in this crisis.How many more people will die before the UK Government steps up to its international and moral obligation to respond?

Ask your MP to call on David Cameron to create alternative routes to safety for refugees.