Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke to the BBC’s Andrew Marr about the upcoming election for the Conservative Party. The MP addressed immigration policies, the future of trade negotiations with the EU and alleged war crimes by the British military. However, a fierce clash broke out when Mr Marr tried to question the Tory Deputy Leader about revelations that Priti Patel had intervened to block a recent rescue operation to bring British orphans and unaccompanied minors home from Syria.
According to sources, the Home Secretary suggested that children born of British parents in the camps in Syria, including orphans, should not be brought back to this country.
Ms Patel, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Chancellor Sajid Javid felt the children posed “security concerns”.
When the BBC presenter brought this up, Mr Raab shot it right down.
He told Mr Marr: “That’s not quite right, is it?”
He said: “You’re relying on a leaked report from a National Security Council meeting.
“I can tell you exactly what the Government’s position is.
“The Government speaks with one voice.
“We’ve made it very clear that where you’ve got orphan children or unaccompanied minors without their parents and there’s no security threat, of course we’ll seek to repatriate them to this country.”
The Foreign Secretary added: “There are huge challenges in operating on the ground in Syria and elsewhere.”
Mr Raab said they would “absolutely” try to bring them back.
The MP also outlined Tory plans for immigration, and why it was “important” to have “fairness” in the system.
He told the BBC: “I say this as a son of a refugee, immigration can bring huge benefits this country.
“We want to see the entrepreneurs come in with the ability to create the jobs of the future.
“And to be able to plug holes in the labour market through, for example, our fast track NHS visa.
“But we also think fairness is important, which is why when people come here they should pay the NHS surcharge of £625 so we cover the cost of the NHS.
“We also think the people should be here for five years before they can claim benefits.”