THE Scottish Government has welcomed twice as many refugees under the Syrian resettlement scheme as the UK average, new statistics have revealed.

Some 18,676 people fleeing from Syria have resettled in the UK under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, with Scotland welcoming 17% (3180) of the total.

In 2015, the UK Government committed to taking in 20,000 Syrians driven from the war-torn country by 2020 – a commitment they are yet to meet.

By contrast, the Scottish Government welcomed its 2000th Syrian refugee at the end of 2017 – meeting its target of resettling refugees through the VPRS three years ahead of schedule.

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: “Scotland has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from all over the world and as a nation we have stepped up to meet our global responsibilities in tackling the refugee crisis. Our ambition for Scotland is an unashamedly international and outward-looking country.

“It’s heartening to see communities across Scotland welcoming those fleeing conflict in Syria with open arms.”

Fabiani added: “By contrast, the UK Government has neglected its responsibilities – instead choosing to ramp up its antiimmigrant rhetoric and policies to make the UK a hostile environment for those who want to come here, or have no other choice.

“With Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, that’s only set to get worse.

“The resettlement programme is about helping families in desperate need to build secure lives and helping people fleeing trauma to feel safe.

“The UK Government must do more to follow Scotland’s lead and to build a fair and humane immigration system.”