LABOUR is to force a vote on Britain taking in refugees from the Syrian civil war under a United Nations sanctuary scheme designed to help those in greatest need.
Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday that he was ready to take in some of the most vulnerable refugees from camps in and around Syria, but Labour said that this was not enough to respond to MPs' concerns.
The party announced it would stage an opposition day vote in the Commons next Wednesday calling for Britain to sign up to the United Nations High Comm-ission for Refugees appeal for Western countries to accept 30,000 of those trapped in the region.
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Mr Cameron told Prime Minister's Questions that Britain was the second largest bilateral donor of aid to help those affected by the crisis, had taken in more than 1000 Syrian asylum-seekers and was "fulfilling our moral obligations to the people of Syria".
He said: "We are also making sure where we can help vulnerable children who are ill - including a child in a British hospital today -we take action there as well."
He said he didn't believe a crisis potentially involving half of Syria's nine million population could be solved with a quota system for a few hundred refugees.
He added: "But I do agree if there are very difficult cases of people who don't belong in refugee camps who have either been disabled by these attacks, or in very difficult circumstances, I'm happy for us to look at that argument."
A senior Downing Street source later suggested that the kind of "hardship cases" where the UK could consider taking in refugees might include children orphaned by the war or who had medical needs which could not be dealt with in the camps.