The exodus of hundreds of thousands of Syrian people as a result of the ongoing conflict, compounded by political stalemate in Britain and a failure of the West to intervene, is likely to lead to an influx of immigrants in the UK as countries in the region struggle to cope, experts are warning.
The United Nations has confirmed almost a quarter of the Syrian population has now fled the conflict, placing huge pressure on neighbouring states – particularly Lebanon, where nearly one in six people is now Syrian.
UN high commissioner for refugees António Guterres has said if a resolution to the conflict is not found, the UN will look to resettle refugees in the West, which is better able to provide for them.
As almost two million Syrian refugees look to resettle, analysts from the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) have warned Britain’s failure to secure a way forward in Syria will result in added pressure on UK immigration.
The HJS has condemned the political stalemate in Britain, which has led to inaction in Syria and allowed Assad’s regime to hold the balance of power, with the result that refugees have no realistic prospect of being able to return home.
Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the HJS, said: “I had long hoped that the British government would intervene in Syria against Assad’s regime for humanitarian and strategic reasons. Yet many British MPs have sapped the Prime Minister’s resolve to do so by saying they want nothing to do with the crisis.
“This UN announcement shows how foolish that position is – if we are too afraid of dealing with the problem at source, we will have to manage the consequences.
“Syria’s civilians can only return home if a new government is in place to welcome them.
“If British MPs continue to block action, we will quite rightly have to accept refugees fleeing from bloodshed. MPs will then have to explain to their constituents why immigration rates have increased.”