Op-ed: Monday an important amendment to the immigration bill was defeated in a vote in the House of Commons.
The amendment would have enabled 3,000 refugee children from camps across Europe entry into the UK.
The amendment was cross-party though tabled by Labour's Lord Dubs, a man who was a Kinder Transport child who came to the UK just ahead of WWII.
The House of Lords agreed to his amendment and so it went to the Commons.
[In March peers in the House of Lords voted 306 votes to 204 in favour of his amendment]
As the Huffington Post UKreports the Tories used every trick in the book to defeat the amendment in the Commons Monday:
Ministers have been accused of “desperate tactics” to avoid defeat on plans to take 3,000 children from refugee camps in Europe.
Ahead of a crunch Commons vote on accepting the unaccompanied youngsters, it emerged that the Government will deploy a little-used Parliamentary device to quash the plans.
Ministers are set to cite ‘financial privilege’ to force Parliament to dump an amendment to the Immigration Bill that would have forced the Home Office to take in child refugees from Europe.
Labour and the Lib Dems are hoping Tory rebels will back the amendment by Lord Dubs, who was himself rescued from the Nazis by the Kindertransport scheme in the Second World War.
The vote was lost 294 to 276.
You can see the Tories who voted against the amendment over to the right.
There were however abstentions.
Lord Dubs said it was a sad day in British history when the Commons voted down help for vulnerable and unaccompanied refugee children.
The Tories claim they will take an unspecified number of such children from Syria but not from camps in Europe.
The reasoning is that to do so will somehow encourage others to follow a similar route.
The Commons defeat came after Lord Dubs accused the government of “muddying the debate” by announcing last week that the UK would take 3,000 unaccompanied children but only from camps in the Middle East.
Speaking ahead of a Lords debate tonight (Tuesday) on the matter, Lord Dubs told HuffPost UK that taking in the children would honour Britain’s Kindertransport legacy.
When asked whether David Cameron’s government would have saved 10,000 children, including Lords Dubs, the peer said: “It’s a very hypothetical question ... I think this lot wouldn’t have, this lot would’ve probably said no.”
He added “the mood was different” and the Conservative Government of the 1930s may have rejected the Kindertransport if it had abided by “today’s thinking”. He said the Cameron government is “hung up, obsessed” with opposing bringing children from Europe.
“People were more balanced and rational about these things [in the 1930s] at the time,” he said.
“They had long debates in the Commons but in the end they said yes. We took 10,000 ... Other countries said no to the 10,000 ... Even the Americans said no.
The Guardian reports:
The shadow immigration minister, Keir Starmer, has promised that “the fight will go on” to force the UK to do more to help some of the thousands of unaccompanied child refugees stranded in mainland Europe.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday, Starmer said: “We can’t turn our backs on these vulnerable children in Europe, and history will judge us for that.” He added: “It’s not over: the fight will go on.”
He also reacted angrily to the suggestion by some opponents of the proposal that helping children who were already in mainland Europe could create a “pull factor” for others.
James Brokenshire, a Home Office minister, had said in Monday night’s debate that the government could not support a policy that would “inadvertently create a situation in which families see an advantage in sending children alone, ahead and in the hands of traffickers, putting their lives at risk by attempting treacherous sea crossings to Europe which would be the worst of all outcomes”.
So there could still be hope for the children but do not hold your breath.
In 2015 "Sir Nicholas Winton, who organised the rescue of 669 children destined for Nazi concentration camps" died aged 106.
British PM David Cameron described him as a "great man".
But now that just seems like more hypocrisy, spin and hollow words.
Peers have come up with a plan which they hope will convince MPs in the House of Commons that taking refugee children from camps across Europe is a viable option.
This time they voted for a 'softer option'.
"Peers voted by 279 to 172, a majority of 107, for an amendment to the immigration bill calling on ministers to relocate and support a specified number of children in the UK."
Currently the main sticking point seems to be the country where the unaccompanied, desperate children currently are.
The government wants to only take children from countries they are fleeing and nearby camps. Lord Dubs proposes the UK takes children from refugee camps in Europe also.
Many unaccompanied children are in the worst kind of vulnerable position in European camps. There are reports of rape, abuse and kidnap.
"Nick Baines, the lord bishop of Leeds, told peers that he applauded the government for agreeing to take children directly from the region, but warned that there was an urgent humanitarian need to address the “question on our doorstep”."
Heidi Allen, Tory, abstained in Monday night's vote following her party line although sort of rebelling by opting not to vote down the amendment.
She is hopeful that the amendment will now pass through the commons comfortably.
She said the camp in Calais was “France’s dirty little secret”.
So will MPs in the House of Commons rubber stamp the new amendment to the immigration bill?
Those who voted the amendment down: Tories Adams, Nigel Afriyie, Adam Aldous, Peter Allan, Lucy Amess, Sir David Andrew, Stuart Ansell, Caroline Argar, Edward Atkins, Victoria Bacon, Mr Richard Baker, Mr Steve Baldwin, Harriett Barclay, Stephen Baron, Mr John Barwell, Gavin Bebb, Guto Bellingham, Sir Henry Benyon, Richard Beresford, Sir Paul Berry, Jake Berry, James Bingham, Andrew Blunt, Crispin Bone, Mr Peter Borwick, Victoria Bottomley, Sir Peter Bradley, Karen Brady, Mr Graham Brazier, Mr Julian Brine, Steve Brokenshire, rh James Bruce, Fiona Buckland, Robert Burns, Conor Burns, rh Sir Simon Burrowes, Mr David Burt, rh Alistair Carmichael, Neil Cartlidge, James Cash, Sir William Caulfield, Maria Chalk, Alex Chishti, Rehman Chope, Mr Christopher Churchill, Jo Clark, rh Greg Clarke, rh Mr Kenneth Cleverly, James Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey Coffey, Dr Thérèse Collins, Damian Colvile, Oliver Costa, Alberto Crabb, rh Stephen Davies, Byron Davies, Glyn Davies, Mims Davies, Philip Dinenage, Caroline Djanogly, Mr Jonathan Donelan, Michelle Double, Steve Dowden, Oliver Doyle-Price, Jackie Drax, Richard Drummond, Mrs Flick Duddridge, James Duncan Smith, rh Mr Iain Dunne, Mr Philip Ellis, Michael Ellison, Jane Ellwood, Mr Tobias Elphicke, Charlie Eustice, George Evans, Graham Evans, Mr Nigel Evennett, rh Mr David Fabricant, Michael Fallon, rh Michael Fernandes, Suella Field, rh Mark Foster, Kevin Fox, rh Dr Liam Frazer, Lucy Freeman, George Freer, Mike Gale, Sir Roger Garnier, rh Sir Edward Garnier, Mark Gauke, Mr David Ghani, Nusrat Gibb, Mr Nick Gillan, rh Mrs Cheryl Glen, John Goodwill, Mr Robert Gove, rh Michael Graham, Richard Grant, Mrs Helen Grayling, rh Chris Green, Chris Green, rh Damian Grieve, rh Mr Dominic Griffiths, Andrew Gummer, Ben Gyimah, Mr Sam Halfon, rh Robert Hall, Luke Hammond, Stephen Hancock, rh Matthew Hands, rh Greg Harper, rh Mr Mark Harrington, Richard Harris, Rebecca Hart, Simon Haselhurst, rh Sir Alan Heald, Sir Oliver Heappey, James Heaton-Harris, Chris Heaton-Jones, Peter Henderson, Gordon Herbert, rh Nick Hinds, Damian Hollobone, Mr Philip Holloway, Mr Adam Hopkins, Kris Howarth, Sir Gerald Howell, John Howlett, Ben Huddleston, Nigel Hunt, rh Mr Jeremy Hurd, Mr Nick Jackson, Mr Stewart Javid, rh Sajid Jayawardena, Mr Ranil Jenkin, Mr Bernard Jenkyns, Andrea Jenrick, Robert Johnson, Boris Johnson, Gareth Johnson, Joseph Jones, Andrew Jones, rh Mr David Jones, Mr Marcus Kawczynski, Daniel Kennedy, Seema Kirby, Simon Knight, rh Sir Greg Knight, Julian Kwarteng, Kwasi Lancaster, Mark Latham, Pauline Leadsom, Andrea Lee, Dr Phillip Lefroy, Jeremy Leigh, Sir Edward Leslie, Charlotte Letwin, rh Mr Oliver Lewis, Brandon Lewis, rh Dr Julian Liddell-Grainger, Mr Ian Lidington, rh Mr David Lilley, rh Mr Peter Lopresti, Jack Lord, Jonathan Loughton, Tim Lumley, Karen Mackinlay, Craig Mackintosh, David Main, Mrs Anne Mak, Mr Alan Malthouse, Kit Mann, Scott May, rh Mrs Theresa Maynard, Paul McCartney, Karl McLoughlin, rh Mr Patrick McPartland, Stephen Menzies, Mark Merriman, Huw Metcalfe, Stephen Miller, rh Mrs Maria Milling, Amanda Mills, Nigel Milton, rh Anne Mordaunt, Penny Morgan, rh Nicky Morris, Anne Marie Morris, David Morris, James Morton, Wendy Mowat, David Murray, Mrs Sheryll Murrison, Dr Andrew Newton, Sarah Nokes, Caroline Norman, Jesse Nuttall, Mr David Offord, Dr Matthew Opperman, Guy Parish, Neil Patel, rh Priti Paterson, rh Mr Owen Pawsey, Mark Penning, rh Mike Penrose, John Percy, Andrew Perry, Claire Philp, Chris Pickles, rh Sir Eric Pincher, Christopher Poulter, Dr Daniel Pow, Rebecca Prentis, Victoria Prisk, Mr Mark Pritchard, Mark Pursglove, Tom Quin, Jeremy Raab, Mr Dominic Redwood, rh John Rees-Mogg, Mr Jacob Robertson, Mr Laurence Robinson, Mary Rosindell, Andrew Rudd, rh Amber Rutley, David Sandbach, Antoinette Scully, Paul Selous, Andrew Shapps, rh Grant Sharma, Alok Shelbrooke, Alec Simpson, rh Mr Keith Skidmore, Chris Smith, Chloe Smith, Henry Smith, Julian Smith, Royston Soames, rh Sir Nicholas Solloway, Amanda Soubry, rh Anna Spelman, rh Mrs Caroline Spencer, Mark Stephenson, Andrew Stevenson, John Stewart, Bob Stewart, Iain Stewart, Rory Streeter, Mr Gary Stride, Mel Stuart, Graham Sturdy, Julian Sunak, Rishi Swayne, rh Mr Desmond Swire, rh Mr Hugo Syms, Mr Robert Thomas, Derek Throup, Maggie Timpson, Edward Tolhurst, Kelly Tomlinson, Justin Tomlinson, Michael Tracey, Craig Tredinnick, David Trevelyan, Mrs Anne-Marie Truss, rh Elizabeth Tugendhat, Tom Turner, Mr Andrew Tyrie, rh Mr Andrew Vaizey, Mr Edward Vara, Mr Shailesh Vickers, Martin Villiers, rh Mrs Theresa Walker, Mr Charles Walker, Mr Robin Warman, Matt Watkinson, Dame Angela Whately, Helen Wheeler, Heather White, Chris Whittaker, Craig Whittingdale, rh Mr John Wiggin, Bill Williams, Craig Williamson, rh Gavin Wilson, Mr Rob Wollaston, Dr Sarah Wood, Mike Wragg, William Wright, rh Jeremy Democratic Ulster Unionist Campbell, Mr Gregory Shannon, Jim Ukip Carswell, Douglass Ulster Unionist Party Elliott, Tom Kinahan, Danny