The UK government's apparent indifference to the distress of our fellow Europeans in Ukraine fleeing Putin’s invasion is putting the country to shame, the Rejoin EU Party says.
Not only does a Home Office helpline for Ukrainian refugees charge those using it, but Home Secretary Priti Patel is forcing Ukrainian refugees wanting to come to the UK to go through a full visa application process from their current location and there await approval, rather than attempting to travel here.
This means practically that most will have no choice but to stay in the highly congested immediate frontier areas of Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland.
The government's approach to the crisis also appears mired in chaos. Patel has been forced by public pressure to make several changes to the UK's Ukrainian refugee visa scheme and it has been reported that advisers who staff the helpline are not aware of the changes.
Party leader Richard Hewison said: “Not making the helpline free is just petty, but the likely effect of UK government policy in adding to the problems of managing the greatest European refugee crisis since the Second World War faced by those countries directly adjacent to Ukraine is serious and shameful. Meanwhile, the U-turns that the government has had to perform on its visa scheme show how ill-conceived it is.
“Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic have all made arrangements to transport refugees directly to their respective countries and undertake the reception formalities there.
“We should be doing the same. Above all, we should be participating in the projected EU scheme to humanely, fairly and efficiently share the grave responsibilities created by this emergency across the Continent.”
The Rejoin EU party is campaigning to re-join the EU because we believe the UK belongs at the heart of Europe and re-joining is the only way to solve the problems Brexit has created. Brexit is broken and it's breaking our country too. All the promises on which Brexit was sold to the electorate in 2016 are now increasingly exposed as fantasy. Far from bringing the promised reduction in red tape and bureaucracy and providing £350m a week for the NHS, Brexit makes trading with the crucial European market more complex, difficult and expensive and threatens to reduce funding for public services. Sectors such as farming, fisheries & financial services, supposed to benefit from Brexit, now face an uncertain future. If you agree Brexit is making our country poorer, less tolerant and less united, join us and send a message to Westminster that you want your EU membership back, along with all its freedoms and benefits. One of those benefits was membership of student exchange scheme Erasmus – sign our petition to re-join it here: https://actionstorm.org/petitions/stop-brexit-dogma-destroying-erasmus-study-rights-sign-our-petition-now-62068c8633462
Contact Rejoin EU at email@example.com or visit our website at https://www.therejoineuparty.com. You can also follow the party on Twitter at @rejoinp