Guardian (London), December 29, 2013
Nigel Farage is calling on the government to start admitting refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria into Britain.
The Ukip leader, who has been at the forefront of the opposition to allowing migrants from Bulgaria and Romania unfettered access to the UK, said the position of those displaced by conflict was very different.
“I think refugees are a very different thing to economic migration and I think that this country should honour the spirit of the 1951 declaration on refugee status that was agreed,” he told BBC News.
“It was agreed with the UN and even through the European court, which sadly has changed its role. But the original ideas of defining what a refugee is were good ones.
“I think actually there is a responsibility on all of us in the free west to try and help some of those people in Syria fleeing literally in fear of their lives.”
The government has rejected calls to admit Syrian refugees, arguing that it is better to provide financial support to people in the region.
Farage’s intervention came after the three main party leaders–David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg–last week issued a rare joint statement backing the United Nations’ £4bn appeal for assistance.