On 6th September 2016 Lord Roberts of Llandudno asked Her Majesty’s Government “what plans they have to speed up the reuniting of refugee children in the camps of Calais and Dunkirk with their families in the United Kingdom.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, asked a follow up question:
The Archbishop of Canterbury: My Lords, the Question has been extremely specifically put about children who have families in this country; this is not about all unaccompanied children. My own diocese of Canterbury has taken on a staff member who is working in the Jungle, in co-ordination with a staff member taken on by the Catholic diocese of Arras. We are still having continual reports of delays for really quite young children who are not being brought across. Does the Minister not agree that where children—particularly young ones—have families in this country there is no reason why they should not be brought across within the day?
Baroness Williams of Trafford: My Lords, many of the children are coming here very quickly, but if any child has to stay over in the camp for any longer than it should that is one child too many. I commend the most reverend Primate on the work that Lambeth Palace is doing in taking its first family. We are clear that refugees in Calais should first of all claim asylum in France and then come over here through the Dublin process. The good news is that 120 children have come here this year under the Dublin regulations, 70 of them from France.