"Relax the normal visa processes for those affected by the invasion of Ukraine”
Rugby MP Mark Pawsey calls on Government to help Ukrainian refugees
By Eleanor Holdsworth
WE continue to watch the developments in Ukraine with horrified disbelief.
As thousands of families try to flee the Russian invasion, we asked Rugby Conservative MP Mark Pawsey what the UK government is doing to help.
Mr Pawsey told SRN: “Like many of us here in Rugby and Bulkington, and across the country, I have watched in horror at the images we have seen following Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine. I fully support the Government’s actions to aid our friends and allies in Ukraine both in terms of providing military and humanitarian assistance, as well as providing routes for those fleeing the violence to seek refuge here in the UK.
“As the scale of the humanitarian disaster became apparent last week, I joined a number of my colleagues calling on the Prime Minister to urgently take action and adopt a flexible and pragmatic approach to those wishing to seek temporary refuge, particularly with friends or family here in the UK. I am pleased that the Government has taken steps to do so through a bespoke humanitarian support package for the people of Ukraine. This includes the Ukrainian Family Scheme and the Ukrainian Sponsorship Humanitarian Visa, which will enable many thousands of Ukrainians to come to the UK to be with their families.
“I am also working on behalf of my constituents who have relatives in Ukraine and who are seeking to bring them to safety. I fully understand their concerns at this unprecedented time, and I am continuing to urge my colleagues in Government to do all that they can to relax the normal visa processes for those affected by the invasion of Ukraine.”
Jeremy Wright MP (Conservative), whose constituency includes Dunchurch and Thurlaston, wrote on Friday: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created a huge and growing humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, will flee war and seek refuge in Europe and the UK.
“We do have a moral duty to help. We cannot of course allow access to this country with no checks at all, we have learned to our cost that Russian agents can and will act, even act lethally, on our soil, and may pose as something they are not to gain entry. Neither can we ignore the strain on our housing stock and public services which huge numbers arriving will bring, but there is much we can and should do.
“We should, and we will, allow entry to family members of Ukrainian citizens living here, and Ukrainians with no family ties to come via a simple and flexible process, as I argued in the House of Commons this week. We will allow them to work and be educated here under immigration arrangements that will last initially for 12 months.
“We can help those who arrive to cope with the terror and trauma of what has happened to them and to their country, and we can do everything possible to get them back to the country which overwhelmingly they want to get back to and to rebuild. It is in fact that widespread wish to return which enables us to be generous in our immigration approach.
“In reality, these people are not immigrants – they did not choose to leave their country and the vast majority of them will not seek to remain permanently in ours. They need our help largely because they share our values and have been brave enough to stand up to a dictator who does not. We should do what we can to offer it.”