Palestinians: Visa Scheme — [Martin Vickers in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall am 5:17 pm ar 13 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Tulip Siddiq Tulip Siddiq Shadow Minister (Treasury) 5:17, 13 Mai 2024

I thank my hon. Friend for his intervention. My mother came to this country as a political asylum seeker in the 1970s, because this country—our country, of which we are proud—has always been seen as a safe haven for people who are escaping conflict or places that are too dangerous to live in. We now need to show the same compassion to people who are fleeing unimaginable situations and trauma. I hope that the Government will listen—I know that the Minister will—when we say that the advice that we have been given is not realistic on the ground. We need practical advice that we can give to our constituents, who are constantly writing to us, petrified about their immediate family members.

Nearly 75% of Gaza’s total population has been displaced by this terrible conflict, and over 33,000 people have been killed. Everyone in this Chamber will agree that the fighting needs to stop. There must be a ceasefire, the immediate release of hostages and a serious political process towards a two-state solution. International law must be upheld, and it is has been deeply shocking to see reports that indicate that it may have been breached. The Government must ensure that Israel is complying with international law, as well as with the provisional measures set out by the International Court of Justice in January. Ministers have a duty to ensure that the UK Government themselves are fully compliant with international law when it comes to the clear licensing criteria that apply to arm sales to Israel, given the developments in this conflict.

Finally—I know that lots of people want to speak—we know that almost no aid is entering northern Gaza, and it is vital that aid is allowed in as quickly as possible. The bleak picture in Gaza is the situation of my constituent’s family right now, and I am desperate to help them. We need the UK Government to take the strongest possible position to ensure that we get an immediate ceasefire. We also need the Minister—I know that he will listen to this debate—to look seriously at the desperate situation that people are in; they have no one to turn to. I look forward to hearing the Minister’s advice on what I should say to my constituent, who is desperately worried about his immediate family, who are living in a war zone when they could be joining their brother and his family in Hampstead and Kilburn.