First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s letter to David Cameron, September 3, 2015
The full text of the First Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister about the humanitarian crisis in Southern Europe, September 3, 2015:
I am in no doubt that we are all horrified by the scale of the refugee crisis unfolding on Europe’s shore. The tragic death of three year old Aylan Kurdi, washed up on Turkey’s beach line, only serves to highlight further the plight of the thousands of people seeking safety and protection.
The scale of such a humanitarian emergency is immense but it is not insurmountable. We recognise the need for long term, coordinated action to tackle the causes of this crisis but this cannot be a substitute for an immediate humanitarian response.
We, with our neighbours and friends across the EU, have a moral obligation to offer a place of safety to these desperate people fleeing conflict and persecution. I welcomed the expansion of the Syrian Vulnerable Person scheme but I would stress that this in itself is not sufficient to address the crisis we are witnessing.
I strongly urge you to reconsider the UK Government’s current response. The Scottish Government believes we must take part in the EU response. We can start by participating in the initial EU proposals on relocation and refugee resettlement. The UK must take a proportionate share of people fleeing conflict and persecution.
I would once again reiterate that Scotland stands ready to support the UK Government in providing an appropriate response to this situation.