Alison McGovern

Wirral South

Learning more about the vital work of local Red Cross services

You might know that the Red Cross charity works in Merseyside to provide lots of help to people who need some extra support. I recently met up with them to understand more about the challenges they face. 

I spoke to people who help with responding to emergencies, people who support those who need a bit of extra help that they are unable to get from the NHS or council, and those who work with refugees.

The work that the Red Cross do for refugees is vital, given the scale of the refugee crisis happening at the moment around the world. The conflict in Syria has caused people to have to flee their home, profoundly disrupting their life at best, and often risking their life. It is a situation many of us find hard to imagine

We are all concerned about what is happening in Calais. The impact of this crisis on those individuals concerned, and also all the businesses, hauliers, and travellers affected is really damaging. The Government must get control of the situation.

It still takes us too long to assess people who are already here. Meanwhile, in other areas of Europe, too, where people seeking refuge are arriving in southern countries such as Greece and Italy which may struggle to cope.

As a country we have helped fewer vulnerable refugees than others, so back in June I questioned the Prime Minister about Britain’s role in assisting child refugees. We are still waiting for action.

Harriet Harman rightly pointed out the need to control our ports and get a normal situation back for the businesses who depend on cross-channel routes. 

Meanwhile, this week Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond used the word “marauding” to describe African people. I find the language used by the government concerning, and with the crisis in Calais ongoing I would urge the government to get a grip on the situation. Everyone affected - from whenever in Britain or the world - is an individual who wants to get on with their life. Governments should work together to make that happen.

By Alison McGovern MP for Wirral News 

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