REFUGEE children who find safety in Britain are being punished by restrictive laws that keep them apart from their families, the SNP’s Angus MacNeil has warned.

The Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP hopes 100 of his colleagues will come to the House of Commons on Friday and help push through his private member’s bill to force the Government to relax immigration rules, and allow the families of refugees to come to the UK.

The Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill has already won the support of SNP, Labour, LibDem and Tory MPs, as well as charities Amnesty International UK, the British Red Cross, the Refugee Council, Oxfam, and Student Action for Refugees, plust the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

Currently, refugees who make it to the UK unaccomnpanied aren’t legally able to bring over family members, even if those family members are stuck in dangeorus, and unsafe countries.

The only family members explicitly allowed to join adult refugees in the UK are their spouse or partner, and their dependent children who are under the age of 18.

But that unaccompanied children granted refugee status have no right to reunite with even their brother or sister or their mother or father. Only the UK and Denmark are that restrictive on refugee children.

If passed, MacNeil’s bill would give children the right to sponsor their families. It would also expand who qualifies as family, so that young people who have turned 18, can be reunited with their parents.

The bill also pushes for the reintroduction of legal aid, so that refugees have the support they need to navigate the complicated process of being reunited with their families. Writing in The House magazine yesterday, McNeil urged colleagues in the Commons to help push the bill to tackle “this fundamental injustice being suffered by children” to the next parliamentary stage .

The MP wrote: “More than half of the world’s refugees are children; young people who, having fled horrors unimaginable to most of us, are searching for ways to rebuild their lives.

“But for many of these children the future looks bleak, clouded with fear and doubt.”

MacNeil added: “This is because the current rules around family reunion do not adequately protect the rights of these children, which is why I brought forward a private member’s bill to address this unjustifiable inequality.”