demonstrators protest in favour of ukraine

SWL MPs hit out as refugees left in Calais with 14 page visa form and a packet of crisps

The UK Government has been strongly criticised by SWL MPs for its response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis building in Calais.

The lack of official help at Calais has been widely documented, with only one poorly manned office, long queues and 14 page forms to fill in before long visits to the British consulate in Paris or Brussels for biometric scanning.

There follows a wait of up to two weeks before a decision is given for those Ukrainians with family in the UK, hoping to make this country their home.

Refugees are offered, however, a bag of ready salted crisps.

Putney MP Fleur Anderson said: “The response from our Government to the refugee crisis has been nothing short of a shambles so far. 

“There is chaos in the Home Office, and we are letting down desperate Ukrainian families in their hour of need.

“Priti Patel came to the House of Commons to tell us that there was a visa application centre in Calais before having to row back when challenged.

“She then suggested that one was being set up. 

“An online system is now promised but there is simply chaos in the Home Office systems. 

“That isn’t good enough for people who have fled the terror of war only to be lost in a bureaucratic nightmare.

“I have been helping people in Putney who have loved ones stuck in Ukraine and Bucharest faced by the visa system crashing, some turned away and told they have an appointment in two weeks and having to wait in camps in Romania.”

Croydon South MP Chris Philp defended the Government’s entry scheme for Ukrainian refugees this morning on Sky News.

He said: “Where people have Ukrainian family here, we are not going to require them to have biometric checks done which was a bit of a bottle neck.

“We are going to be announcing a scheme about local authorities and UK families to welcome Ukrainian refugees.

“We’ve announced that principal and the details will be laid out in the very near future.”

Philp declined to confirm whether or not he would take a refugee into his home.

He said: “Once the details are published in the very near future, everybody will have a look at that and see if their personal circumstances allow them to.”

Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney this morning tweeted her endorsement of a statement by Richmond Council leader Gareth Roberts which was highly critical of the Government.

Neither Olney nor Anderson confirmed if they would be willing to host a Ukrainian refugee in their  homes. 

Related Articles