Ukrainians deserve better than being stuck in Home Office visa appointment queue

Responding to Home Office figures which show that just 300 visas have been issued to Ukrainian refugees under the Family Scheme, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Ukrainians fleeing for their lives deserve far better than being stuck in a queue for a Home Office visa appointment.

People across the UK want to welcome Ukrainian refugees with compassion, but instead Priti Patel is keeping them out with pointless extra bureaucracy. No amount of spin can disguise the inadequacy of her response.

Our country has a proud tradition of offering sanctuary to those in need. The Government should remember that and open a simple, fast and safe route for refugees to come to the UK.

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  • Was it my ears or did Patel deliberately lie to parliament?

    I’m sure she said, “We have set up…” but, when challenged by Yvette Cooper, to say WHERE it was, she blamed Yvette Cooper for mishearing her and stated, “I actually said that I can confirm we are setting up another VAC en route to Calais.

    That’s two of us with poor hearing then?

  • Roderick Wright 8th Mar '22 - 11:17am

    There is now a solution that doesn’t involve Patel or Johnson. Ireland has removed visa control so refugees can travel to Ireland and then cross into Northern Ireland and Scotland or from Dublin to Wales. I am sure our Celtic cousins will be generous. Can one of our MP’s mention this in parliament ?

  • Barry Lofty 8th Mar '22 - 11:42am

    Maybe our ” Get Brexit Done” government is finding it difficult to reconcile its immigration rhetoric during the referendum with what it should be doing when faced with another human tragedy, this time effecting our erstwhile European partners?

  • Roderick makes a good point about Ireland. They have already taken in 1800 refugees and expect around 100,000 Priti Patel has never shown the competence to manage a great office of state.
    The scenes of Ukrainians sheltering in basements and underground stations is reminiscent of the blitz. Refugees from across Nazi Europe made a hugely important contribution to the Allied war effort in the 1940s with every fifth Ukrainian being killed during the Second World War. Only 3% of all those called up to military service for the summer of 1941 survived. Total demographic losses of Ukraine, including dead, victims of concentration camps, deported and evacuated – amount to at least 14 million people. Of 41.7 million people who lived in the Ukrainian SSR before the war, only 27.4 million people were still alive in 1945
    While UK government ministers talk of immigration rules and biometric visas, Ukrainian MPs are taking up arms – men and women alike. With Russia under the control of a Mafia regime, the risk of a wider European war is closer than at anytime since 1945. Perhaps it is time to call for a government of national unity to put some much needed urgency into preparations for defense and fulfillment of the UK’s commitment to the UN responsibiity to protect without military intervention in Ukraine.

  • nvelope2003 8th Mar '22 - 3:26pm

    What will happen when the present Russian regime collapses and its governing class seek asylum in Britain ? Not sure even Switzerland would want them now.

  • Mick Taylor 8th Mar '22 - 5:28pm

    @nvelope2003. Wishful thinking mate. The best we can hope for is an army coup that removes Putin and then pulls out of Ukraine. Though my calculation puts the odds at 100:1 against.
    @Joe Bourke. Govt of national unity? You’ve got to be joking. Our role is to hound this government into doing the right thing for Ukrainian refugees, not joining and holding hands with them. Anyway, given that Labour would never agree, it would destroy the party even more surely than coalition with the Tories almost did in 2010-2015.
    @expats. Of course Patel lied. That’s all this shower of ministers ever does. Why are you even surprised?

  • Mick Taylor 8th Mar ’22 – 5:28pm………[email protected] Of course Patel lied. That’s all this shower of ministers ever does. Why are you even surprised?……………

    My post was written ‘tongue in cheek’..BTW, I look foreward to Johnson claiming, at PMQs, that we are, yet again, world beaters.

  • Mick, it is not clear that Liberal MPs would form part of a national government. The 1930s national government contained members of the Conservative Party, Liberals and National Labour, as well as a number of individuals who belonged to no political party. No Liberal nationals (led by Simon) or Lloyd George’s independent Liberals received posts. No members of the Labour party were included (as Ramsey MacDonald had been expelled from it) and Labour served as the opposition. If such an arrangement was agreed today, I suspect it would be Conservatives and Labour with the SNP and Liberals in opposition,
    Many of the outcomes we have seen in recent years were a surprise for which we were unprepared. A conservative majority in 2015, Brexit, Donald Trump in the Whitehouse, a global pandemic and now the return of war to Europe. We seem to be heading inexorably into the dystopia of Orwells cautionary tale in 1984 of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, historical negationism, and propaganda.
    What do they say about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? Last year China was the enemy of Freedom and human rights while Putin’s Russia was a developing , if troublesome, democracy of sorts. This year Russia is the enemy and China is now a prospective peacemaker. It would not surprise me if the Home office was soon to be renamed as the Ministry of Love.

  • @ Joe Bourke, you state, “The 1930s national government contained members of the Conservative Party, Liberals and National Labour, as well as a number of individuals who belonged to no political party. No Liberal nationals (led by Simon) or Lloyd George’s independent Liberals received posts”. Sorry, Joe, incorrect.

    Sir John Simon (once in Asquith’s Cabinet) was Foreign Secretary, 5 November 1931 – 7 June 1935, succeeding Lord Reading (also once of Asquith’s Cabinet). Simon was Home Secretary 1935 – 1937, Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1937 to 1940, and Lord Chancellor 1940-45)….. a total in Coalition office of fourteen years.

    Lloyd George was indeed offered office in 1931 but too ill to take at the time. He then preferred to make millions by writing his war memoirs. His ‘Independent Liberals’ consisted only of his family members.

    I know a bit about Sir John Simon. Dad was born next door to Simon’s agent, one Victor Midgley, in Simon’s Spen Valley constituency where I was brought up, and can welI remember said Victor who, by that time, was a Tory.

  • Thanks for the correction. David. Good review of the Liberal Nationals here

  • @ Joe Bourke A generous response, Joe.

    I think you’ll find Professor David Dutton very good on Simon & Co…….. and below there’s a sample of Simon on youtube.

    David Dutton .Liberals in Schism: A History of the National Liberal Party (International Library of Political Studies) by David Dutton (ISBN: 9781780760476)

    David Dutton A Political Biography of Sir John Simon ISBN 10: 1854102044 – ISBN 13: 9781854102041

    Sir John Simon (1931) – YouTube › watch

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