Students’ plea for U-turn on Syrian refugees defeated – BBC News

Manx politicians have rejected the possibility of accepting Syrian refugees on the Isle of Man for the second time in 13 months.

The subject returned to Tynwald this week after a petition was submitted by four year 11 students in November.

The motion, which asked members to set up a committee to look into the issue, was backed by the upper chamber but defeated in the House of Keys.

Politicians rejected the same motion by a single vote in November 2018.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle said he did not “understand the need for a committee” as the government had already looked at “all of these facts and figures”.

The students’ efforts were “commendable” but he believed financial aid would help the “greatest number of refugees”, he added.

One of the students, Sam Rowe, said “understandable points” had been made on both sides of the 90-minute debate but he felt monetary assistance did not “truly protect” the refugees.

More than 11,000 refugees have been resettled in the UK under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme since 2014.

The Isle of Man has not taken anyone in under the scheme but the government said it had provided more than £1.6m in foreign aid to projects relating to the Syrian crisis.

Daphne Caine MHK, who tabled the recent motion on behalf of the students and the 2018 one, said the result was “disappointing”.

An amendment, which asked for the matter be referred to Tynwald’s Social Affairs Policy Review Committee, was also defeated.


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