Thousands of Ukrainian refugees left in limbo

We have all been shocked (though perhaps not surprised) to learn of the bureaucratic processes that have faced Ukrainian refugees who want to come to the UK.

New statistics on the Homes for Ukraine scheme reveal that fewer that 10% of applicants have been granted a visa. That actual figures are 2,700 visa issued against 28,300 applications under the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme.

Alistair Carmichael, our Home Affairs spokesperson said:

More than 150,000 families are offering to welcome refugees into their homes, but the Conservatives are offering only red tape and delays. Their response has been appallingly slow and chaotic, leaving thousands of Ukrainians in limbo trying to get a visa.

Ministers need to work harder and faster to match the compassion shown by the British public.

Ukrainian refugees should be allowed to come to the UK now, without first having to apply for a visa. And the Government should set up a fast, ambitious resettlement scheme, working with refugee agencies to bring Ukrainians directly to the UK.

The media are united in their outrage.

The Guardian: ‘False hope’: refugee charity attacks UK’s Homes for Ukraine scheme

The Independent: ‘Woeful’ 2,700 visas granted under new Ukrainian refugee sponsorship scheme

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Brian Evans 31st Mar '22 - 9:03am

    The subtext is “Never mind what we say, that’s just for public consumption; we don’t want these foreigners here!”

  • George Thomas 31st Mar '22 - 9:13am

    Amazing what (and who) VIP lanes can be used and not used for. Extra red tape for asylum seekers and businesses wanting to maintain relationships with The EU or maintain high standards but cutting red tape for friends with dodgy PPE to sell and farmers from other side of the world.

  • Peter Hirst 31st Mar '22 - 4:59pm

    nothing surprising here except the excuses. If other countries can allow non-visa ukrainian refugees why can’t we? This obsession with control is the basis for many of this government’s failures.

  • Mick Taylor 31st Mar '22 - 5:04pm

    Why is anyone surprised by this appalling government and its heartless Home Secretary? Promise the earth, deliver nothing. Say anything for a sound bite but never deliver. The sad fact is that some people still believe everything this lying government says. Sadly this includes Ukrainian refugees and would be host families. I am truly ashamed to be British.

  • Helen Dudden 1st Apr '22 - 12:31pm

    We should be supporting a country that is fighting for it’s future. Putin has literally pushed Ukrainians from their homes and in that process many have lost their lives.

    I also feel, that a Government Minister being employed by the Great Britain Community must answer to the rule of law. Sanctions are sanctions, that’s is the end of the subject.

  • One of the issues I have not seen considered in this scheme is providing for those families that will want to return to their homes in Ukraine when it is safe to do so i.e. temporary haven rather than the presumption of semi-permanent resettlement. This may be especially the case for refugees in bordering countries like Poland. The mayor of Warsaw has said that municipal services there are already stretched to capacity.
    The war in Ukraine may well drag on and become yet another frozen conflict as has been the case in the Donbass region for the past 8 years or Georgia since 2008.
    In addition to those that may have family connections in the UK or sponsors, we really need to be considering how to play our part in temporarily housing families that have no such connections and simply need to wait for the intensity of warfare in Ukraine to abate. This may be many years for those fleeing devastated areas, but may be a relatively short period in areas of Ukraine that escape widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure.
    This article highlights the need for a more organised long-term approach across Europe

  • Helen Dudden 1st Apr '22 - 2:07pm

    The conflict in the Ukraine could be a good reason to review the connection with the EU. I had noticed the support for the Ukrainian population has been very strong. Probably many will wish to return to their homes. I Don’t know how much has been collected in funding, but it still continues.
    To support Ukraine, will protect the areas around Russia, this benefits many.
    No one should be supportive of Russia at this present time, who ever they are.

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