Explainer: Is Britain taking its fair share of Syrian refugees?

The current refugee and migrant crisis on the borders of Europe was triggered as hundreds of thousands of people - mainly from Syria - flee violence, persecution and war in their home country.

At least four million people have so far fled the ongoing civil war in Syria since 2011, making it the largest exodus of people in a generation, according to the United Nations.

The majority of those fleeing the region have found respite in countries neighbouring Syria, including Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, but thousands still head towards western Europe in the hope of reuniting with family members there.

David Cameron said today that bringing "peace and stability" to the area is more important than allowing "more and more" Syrian refugees to resettle in the UK.

In June, the Prime Minister announced that Britain would take in around 1,000 Syrian refugees but refused to sign up to EU plans for a "quota scheme" for member states to rehouse those sheltering in Italy and Greece.

But according to United Nations figures, the UK is currently home to fewer than 500 Syrian refugees.

The UN says at least 200,000 people have arrived in Europe via Greece. Credit: Reuters

David Cameron's stance leaves the UK trailing behind most of the major countries in Europe, and could leave him politically isolated when he tries to renegotiate the country's position within the EU.

May 2015 figures from the Office of The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees:

A recent social media campaign has pledged places in the homes of 12,000 Icelanders, prompting the government to rethink its current policy of only offering asylum to 50 Syrians.

Commonwealth nations Australia (5,600) and Canada (11,000) are also helping shoulder the collective responsibility of looking after refugees fleeing war - despite having considerably stricter immigration policies than Great Britain.

Back home, Labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper has said that if every city and every London borough agreed to take in just ten families each then the UK could house as many as 10,000 refugees.

The government has allocated more than £900 million to aid for Syria, according to official figures, but it seems that its policy towards accepting refugees will not be changed.