Syrian refugees will start arriving in the UK next week, as the first charter flight to bring them to safety looks set to go ahead.
Home Office permanent secretary Mark Sedwill confirmed the first flight was scheduled for next week, with a series of others planned for the weeks to come, as plans were put in motion to bring 1,000 refugees to the UK by Christmas.
He said: "The Prime Minister has set us a target for the new scheme of 1,000 by Christmas and plans are in place for that.
"The first charter flight is due to arrive next week. There are a series of charter flights over the next few weeks in order to meet that objective."
The announcement follows Prime Minister David Cameron's pledge that the UK would give refuge to up to 20,000 vulnerable people from Syrian camps over the next five years, in the wake of criticism over the government's decision to opt out of the EU's plans to resettle refugees.
Currently Europe is experiencing one of the worst refugee and migrant crisis in its history and in the last 12 months the UK has received 32,000 asylum claims from people fleeing war-torn or impoverished countries, including refugees looking to escape the conflict in Syria.
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