24 Oct 2016, 36 mins ago

The British Government has yet again come under fire for what is being viewed as it’s “far too weak” response and lack of action regarding the refugee crisis in Europe.

Former Shadow Secretary, Yvette Cooper, is one of the most vocal of such critics, stating that Prime Minister David Cameron will be directly responsible for allowing the deaths of Syrian children, as temperatures begin plummeting upon the approach of winter.

Ms Cooper has been assigned to the Chair of Labour’s Refugee Taskforce and is urging the Government to do more to help those in camps to prevent refugees from freezing to death.

“As governments across Europe struggle to cope and the weather gets colder, it is no longer an option for the prime minister to turn his back…We cannot stand on the sidelines while children freeze to death on our doorstep”.

Plans by Cameron to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next 5 years have been dismissed by retired law lords as too slow and disproportionate. The former President of the Supreme Court told The Guardian “Britain should allow safe and legal routes to the UK to admit a fair share of refugees.

Instead, Cooper claims that Britain can do much more, and that if each county and city took only 10 families, the number of refugees would reach 10,000 within a year.

The charity, Citzens UK, blame the “deadlock between town halls and central government” for the delaying the arrival of refugees into the UK, and are calling for Cameron to agree to increase total number of refugees accepted into the UK over the next 5 years to 50,000. They also want the UK to resettle at least 1,000 of the most vulnerable before Christmas, recalling that six children died in refugee camps last winter because of the extreme cold.

Countries such as Turkey and Lebanon have seen refugee camps hit by freezing temperatures in previous years during the winter months, at times, even resulting in the formation of icicles on makeshift homes within the camps.

It is feared that, yet again, refugees – particularly children – will succumb to the harsh conditions as they attempt to cross Europe.

Charities are specifically issuing warnings regarding the risk of frostbite and Medicines Sans Frontiers have stated an “urgent need for hot food, warm shelters and washing facilities at major transit points” according to the Telegraph.

The leader of Citizens UK is campaigning for immediate action to be taken to avoid more tragedy. “The crisis is happening now, so we need significant action in 2015…Last year six children died needlessly, thousands more suffered respiratory illnesses…”

The charity claim that 37 councils have agreed to house over 3,000 refugees between them, and that more than 700 private landlords have registered to allow their properties to house those fleeing war in Syria.

Yvette Cooper has accused the government of deliberately shirking it’s responsibilities regarding Syrian refugees by including them in it’s overall net migration target. She has launched a “Crisis Action Plan”, with the aim of removing refugees from the net migration target and immediately revealing how many refugees have come to Britain since Mr Cameron announced the 20,000 target. So far, the Government has refused to reveal how many refugees have been resettled, whilst some are claiming the number is as low as just 50.

Although the British Government opted out of the EU quota scheme, designed to relocate over 120,000 refugees from struggling Greece and Italy, a “Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme” was set up in order to assist in easing the pressure on other EU countries. The scheme however, has only granted asylum to approximately 217 people, excluding numbers from additional programmes, which are believed to increase the total to over 5,000.