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EU leaders pledge extra €1 billion to tackle refugee crisis

The "greatest tide" of refugees is yet to come, Europe's leaders have been warned as they pledged another €1 billion (£733 million) to tackle the crisis.

Heads of state were locked in talks for more than five hours in Brussels as they attempted to overcome divisions and find a unified response.

Speaking after the emergency summit, European Council president Donald Tusk said while they had taken a step in the right direction, the policy of "open doors and windows" must be corrected.

Prime Minister David Cameron - who committed an extra £115 million in aid - said a "comprehensive approach" was needed to solve the crisis.

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UK councils call for assurances over Syrian refugees

Refugees at a camp in Zaatari, Jordan. Credit: Bernd von Jutrczenka / DPA/Press Association Images

Local councils have called on the government to be clearer about how Syrian refugees will be resettled in Britain.

Speaking after the first wave of refugees arrived under the government's newly-expanded scheme, the Local Government Association (LGA) said it also wanted assurances that local authorities will receive the funding they needed to support the new arrivals.

David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA's Asylum, Migration and Refugee task group, said: "Councils across the country are coming forward with offers to help Syrian refugees and we are pressing government on exactly how the scheme will operate.

"We need to know who is arriving and when in order to ensure that we have the right homes, school places, and other support that may be required.

"There are a number of issues that need to be urgently resolved, in particular the need for a firm commitment that councils resettling refugees will receive full financial support, in order that it is not seen later as an unfair burden on communities that open their doors."

The Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme - which will take 20,000 Syrian refugees in the next five years - is the UK government's alternative to European quotas, which are being discussed in Brussels by EU leaders today.

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