The first plane carrying Syrian refugees has arrived in the UK as the authorities say they have done their best to ensure they do not pose a terrorist threat.
The flight, believed to be carrying about 100 people from camps surrounding the war-torn Middle East state, landed at around 3.40pm today.
UK Prime Minister, David Cameron established the plan following the outcry over the death of little Aylan Kurdi (his mother and brother were later found dead) who was washed up on a Greek beach in September.
The arrivals come after it emerged that at least one of the attackers in the Paris atrocity is believed to have entered Europe through Greece posing as a refugee from Syria.
At the weekend, the UK Home Secretary Theresa May said those who arrive in the UK from the region will have been thoroughly screened to ensure they do not pose a terrorist threat.
She said multiple checks are in place for those earmarked for relocation in Britain.
- “There are two levels of screening that take place,” she told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show.
“First of all, we are taking people directly from the camps. We are working with UNHCR – UNHCR take biometrics, they look at documents, they interview people, they do their own process of screening against issues like war crimes and serious criminality.
“Then there is a further check that is done once people are referred to the UK. The Home Office then undertakes further checks, further biometrics are taken.”
New arrivals will be given a five-year visa allowing them to remain in the country, after which they will be able to apply for leave to remain.