First Ukraine refugees could arrive in Scotland in days
The first Ukrainian refugees could arrive in Scotland this weekend, the First Minister has said.
Nicola Sturgeon said there is “no good reason” for the Home Office not to issues visas in time for this to happen.
The Scottish Government is aiming to take up to 3,000 people who have fled the eastern European country in the first phase of the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
That route into the country was launched by the UK Government earlier this week.
Over 100,000 people have already offered up their homes to refugees.
Ukrainians will still require visas to enter the UK through the scheme, but it will allow individuals and organisations to sponsor those who wish to come here.
The UK Government has informally agreed to the Scottish Government’s proposal to become a “super sponsor” in a bid to speed up the process.
Sturgeon said: “The UK Government has given in principle support to the super-sponsor proposal, and we are now seeking to agree the operational detail. Our aim is that our super-sponsor route will run in parallel with the first phase of the wider UK scheme.
“That should make it possible – and this is certainly our hope – for the first 3,000 displaced Ukrainians to begin arriving in Scotland from as early as this weekend.
“Now, I need to be clear that this is dependent on UK Government agreement – only the Home Office can issue the visas – but there is no good reason, in my view, for this agreement not to be reached.”
She also said the Scottish Government is willing to take in an “uncapped” number of refugees, up to 10 per cent of the overall number to come to the UK.
It has also allocated £15m to support the response, the majority of which will go to councils to support refugees in their communities.