As Ukraine’s neighbouring countries welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees and other European Union prepare to accept them, the British government, still burning with the isolationism of Brexit, has failed to take any action to open its frontiers to them. The BBC reports that, although the UK has waived visa fees, and relaxed criteria, most Ukrainians still need a visa if arriving in the UK from Ukraine.
Enver Solomon, Chief Executive of the UK Refugee Council, issued a statement saying:
The Prime Minister has promised to welcome Ukrainian’s fleeing war and persecution. But we are deeply concerned that the Nationality and Borders Bill currently going through Parliament is in stark contrast to this promise.
We are calling on the UK Government to respond by strengthening safe and legal routes including a well-resourced resettlement program, expanding family reunion routes and creating humanitarian visas.
The Bill will undermine our obligation to give all who seek asylum a fair hearing on our soil by discriminating against refugees depending on how they reach our shores. We are increasing our calls to the Government to rethink this harmful Bill and uphold our proud record of helping those fleeing war and oppression.
As a country with a proud heritage of supporting people seeking protection, this is an opportunity for the United Kingdom to play a leading role in the international efforts to help those desperately in need.