UK Politics

Keep Dubs child refugee scheme open, MPs say

A child in the Calais refugee camp Image copyright PA

MPs have voted in favour of keeping open a scheme to bring unaccompanied child refugees to the UK.

Twenty Conservative MPs backed a continuation of the Dubs scheme, which is being closed by ministers.

The vote is non-binding on the government, but backers of the scheme called it a "litmus test" of parliamentary opinion.

The government has been criticised for ending the programme, which it says could encourage people traffickers.

Designed by the Labour peer and former child refugee Lord Dubs, it aimed to help some of the estimated 90,000 unaccompanied migrant children across Europe.

Last month, ministers announced it would close once 350 children had been helped.

In the Commons, MPs debated a cross-party backbench motion calling on the government to continue consulting local authorities over their capacity to take in more child refugees.

It was backed by 254 votes to one, and its supporters said they would put down new amendments to legislation next week to try to force the government to keep the option open.

Former cabinet ministers Maria Miller and Nicky Morgan were among the 20 Tory MPs to support the motion alongside 180 Labour MPs, 42 SNP, six Liberal Democrats, two Plaid Cymru, two independent, one SDLP and Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas.

Conservative Jacob Rees-Mogg was the sole MP to vote against the motion.