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by Joseph Anderson
14 March 2022
Home Office urged to allow more refugees into Scotland

Ukrainian refugees arriving at the Ukrainian border at Poromna Pereprava, to pass into Romania

Home Office urged to allow more refugees into Scotland

The SNP has described the UK’s refugee scheme as ‘still nowhere near enough’ and has called for large numbers of Ukrainian refugees to be settled in Scotland.

UK Home Office proposals involve offering £350 a month for a maximum of six months for anyone who offers a home to a Ukrainian. However, the scheme still requires refugees to go through the lengthy visa application and matching programme.

The Refugee Council has said the scheme ‘falls short’ and will ‘inevitably be restricted to those who are known to people in the UK.’

The Scottish and Welsh First Ministers have written to Michael Gove proposing that Scotland and Wales become ‘super-sponsors’ to allow large numbers of refugees to come to Scotland and Wales quickly – with no cap on the numbers they will welcome.

SNP MP Stuart McDonald said: “Across Europe we are facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in decades as millions flee the war in Ukraine and this scheme is still nowhere near enough.

“Responding to a refugee crisis requires a quick and effective response but those looking to seek refuge in the UK will still have to go through the lengthy and time-consuming visa and matching process. Michael Gove admitted that it is still likely to be another two weeks before people can reach our shores.

“The UK is an outlier in this, countries across Europe, including Ireland are waiving visas for Ukrainians and the Home Office should follow suit – they should put people first and worry about the paperwork later.

“This would allow people fleeing war to get to safety and sanctuary immediately, not spend weeks caught up in UK Government bureaucracy and red tape.

“Come what may, Scotland stands ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms.”

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