Pressure from Julian leads to change in policy for Ukrainian refugees
March 10, 2022
After urging the Home Office to act faster and drop restrictive bureaucracy to help Ukrainian refugees, Julian was pleased to see a concession announced today allowing Ukrainians with passports to complete their biometrics in the United Kingdom rather than at a visa centre.
While welcome news, more must be done and change must come at a greater pace; Julian has already contacted the Home Secretary to stress that the change in biometric policy should be enacted today, not next Tuesday. This change of policy only reinforces his belief that Home Office regulations do not have to be so rigid and can be adapted but there appears to be an internal resistance, which is slowly being overcome.
Following his contribution during a Home Office Urgent Question on Tuesday, Julian took the matter up again yesterday, this time with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove MP, who will be coordinating local authorities’ efforts to welcome refugees. Julian was following up on issues he had raised with Minister for Safe and Legal Migration, Kevin Foster MP, about offers of support for refugees being at risk of being squandered due to delays and backlogs within the Home Office.
Commenting after the meeting, Julian said:
“From the Syrian and Afghan refugee crises in the last decade, the Government has a wealth of knowledge which needs to be utilised to ensure Ukrainian refugees are seamlessly settled in the United Kingdom and provided with the support required to adjust to their new life. The Government need to apply these expertise and revive their failing process for assisting Ukrainian refugees.
The United Kingdom can be proud of our humanitarian, economic and military aid response to support Ukraine but we currently are failing in our responsibility to offer refugees safe shelter. With the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine growing daily, we cannot wait any longer and I will continue to press Ministers to act.
I am encouraged by the collective mood of my backbench colleagues and will look to coordinate efforts to push the Government to do more.”