Holocaust Memorial Day Debate, 28.01.21
It was an honour to take part in the Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 debate and to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and genocide throughout history. As well as remembrance, the debate was about future action and I took the opportunity to highlight the UK’s efforts to bring peace and stability to the wider world. Our country remains a beacon of light to those fleeing oppression and the global resettlement scheme is a chance to reinstate our commitment to the UK being a place of refuge. At a time of great instability, we must ensure that we have a genuinely humanitarian approach as we consider the policies that we will need in the future at a time when we are saying collectively ‘never again’.
You can read my full contribution below:
My constituency is home to a long-standing Jewish community, and I regularly meet constituents whose lives have been personally deeply affected by the events that we remember today, including many who fled persecution and found sanctuary here in the UK.
We have heard many examples during this debate of where our country has been, or has tried to be, the light against genocide and oppression, wherever it has occurred in the world. I pay particular tribute to members of our armed forces, who have often been the last defence of those at risk, and all too often the first on the scene to provide succour when atrocities occurred, as we heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Bob Stewart).
My constituents would be the first to remind me that this debate is about future action as well as remembrance. The UK is the leading country in Europe for the resettlement of child refugees and continues to play an honourable role in efforts to bring peace and stability to the wider world. As we remember the victims of the holocaust and of genocide throughout history, it is also an opportunity to consider that, as well as seeking to bring the light of freedom to places where there is none, our country remains a beacon of light to those who are fleeing oppression.
The new global resettlement scheme is an opportunity to restate our commitment to the United Kingdom being a place of refuge. As my hon. Friend the Member for North Norfolk (Duncan Baker) mentioned, Hansard records little consideration of issues of oppression and the risk of genocide in the run-up to the holocaust. At a time when we know that, across the world, there is great instability and great risk to life and peace, let us all ensure, following this debate today, that we have a genuinely humanitarian approach as we consider the policies that we will need in the future at a time when we are saying collectively, “Never again”.