The Government has voted down an amendment to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement Bill that would have helped refugee children reunite with their families in Britain.
The amendment, which passed the House of Lords last week, was rejected in the Commons the following evening by 342 votes to 254.
Bishop Paul McAleenan, Chair of the Office for Migration Policy said that the outcome was hugely disappointing and “hard to believe”.
“It is universally agreed that one thing that suffered during the Brexit debate was the virtue of trust. Here was an opportunity to restore trust in some measure by honouring an earlier promise. Now trust has suffered again, but more importantly so have refugee children,” he said.
“As St Pope John Paul II said: ‘A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members….’ To deny children fleeing conflict the opportunity to be reunited with their families, the primary providers of a sense of security and safety (which all children need to enable them to grow with confidence and self-esteem) is callous and worrisome.”