June 19, 2018 / 11:24 AM / 8 months ago

Britain stops short of criticising U.S. immigration policy

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain responded to an outcry over the U.S. separation of immigrant parents and children by saying on Tuesday it was happy with its own rules not to separate families and that child welfare was a top priority.

On Monday, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump - who visits Britain next month, defended its hardline immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border as furore grew over the separation of immigrant parents and children, spurred by video of youngsters sitting in concrete-floored cages.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said of the cages: “What I would point you to is the UK’s own immigration policy. It does not apply these measures and we do not intend to do so.

“The welfare and safeguarding of children is at the heart of our immigration policy: we do not separate child asylum seekers or refugees from their families.”

Earlier a French government spokesman said the images from the U.S. were shocking, and that France did not share “the same model of civilisation” as the United States.

But May’s spokesman stopped short of directly criticising the U.S. administration ahead of Trump’s visit, nor would he confirm that May would raise the issue during the trip.

Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison

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