Hundreds of vulnerable Syrians to be given refuge in UK

Amnesty says move is 'long overdue' but polls suggest nearly half of voters are opposed

LAST UPDATED AT 09:30 ON Wed 29 Jan 2014

HUNDREDS of Syrian refugees will be allowed to settle in the UK over the next year, the Deputy Prime Minister has announced. 

Nick Clegg last night confirmed that women and girls who have experienced or are at risk of sexual violence, torture victims and the elderly will be offered refuge in the country.

The Coalition has refused to commit to a quota, says The Times, but it is understood that several hundred refugees from the conflict in Syria will be accepted during the next 12 months.

"We are one of the most open-hearted countries in the world and I believe we have a moral responsibility to help," said Clegg.

The Deputy Prime Minister said Britain will not open its borders to all Syrian refugees, but added: "We can reach out to some of those who need it most."

The move was described as "long overdue" by Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, but she said that it was "never too late to do the right thing".

Allen told the BBC that the Government's line on allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the UK had been "shameful" so far, with "months of refusal and weak arguments".

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said that "compassion and common sense have won through".

However, the idea of offering refuge appears to be "unpopular with voters", says the Times. A YouGov poll last week suggested that 47 per cent of Britons are opposed to admitting several hundred Syrian refugees, while just 39 per cent are in favour.

The UK's resettlement programme is to be separate from an ongoing UN scheme, which has seen Germany commit to admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees. Britain will work with the UN to examine each applicant on a case-by-case basis, but the UK looks unlikely to join the UN's official resettlement scheme, which enforces targets.

Home Secretary Theresa May is expected to spell out more details of the Government's plan to MPs later today. · 

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And if we had a civil war in the UK, would the Syrians give us umpteen million (billions?) pounds to us and take our refugees? I think not. So there is the reason that the majority of UK citizens are opposed. These people got themselves into this mess, they can get themselves out of it, and if they can't, that's a shame but I need to make sure my country and my family come first. Now I'll wait for the brickbats, but I'm just tired of giving to other people, other cultures and other wars while my family, my income, my town, my county are suffering austerity.

Just a second thought: are our "leaders" allowing this because they feel guilt for selling the weapons that are causing the problems.....Oh, sorry, "guilt" and "leaders" in the same sentence....that won't work!

There are millions of people in Syria....so what if Uk accepts 120 or so syrian refugees and clams to be an open hearted country....haha. Puhleaze...uk is the most hate filled intolerant second world country....even after centuries of imperialist looting they are still not a properly developed country and have the highest levels of crime in the western world....

this is the problem..the gov is compalining about the money to does who are not working bout have the guts to say lets take other people in to the uk? shame on me ...be a man

Syria is a broken country and a failed state - but the Syrians did it to themselves. It is now a bit rich for the rest of the world to have to step up to the mark to bail out this blood -thirsty, murderous, fanatical, intolerant and foul bunch.

They started the problem - they must finish it - then, perhaps, next time they are inclined to "kick off" with each other (Shia/Sunni mutual hatred being the root cause of this conflict) then they might just pause and stake stock - some chance!

In the meantime we, in the UK, and second only to the US (it appears) are having to foot the bill to lessen the impact of this war on Syrian civilians.

Perhaps we could spare a thought for the victims of the floods on the Somerset levels - they have suffered for years due to Government ineptitude. If Cameron were to spend just fraction of the amount that we are giving to Syria, in order to achieve a long-term and workable solution to these annual, life-changing floods IN OUR OWN COUNTRY then he might just get something right for once.

Talk about warped priorities.

while we all sympathize with the victims of war the bleeding heart brigade should remember there are plenty of well deserving cases at home in need of help The Homeless for a start. This small island is already over populated without importing any more

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