Ukrainian refugees ‘could soon be in boats in the channel’ - Amnesty International hits out at UK visa system

Ukrainian refugees ‘could soon be in boats in the channel’ - Amnesty International hits out at UK visa system
we may see Ukrainians on those boats in the c
Aden-Jay Wood

By Aden-Jay Wood

Published: 07/03/2022

- 20:49

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 11:31

Steve Valdez-Symonds believes the UK's visa scheme is "designed specifically not to cope"

Ukrainian refugees could soon be seen in boats in the Channel with the UK’s visa system not designed to help those fleeing war, Amnesty International’s Steve Valdez-Symonds has told GB News.

The Government has recently changed its visa system which could allow a further 100,000 Ukrainians into the UK, Home Secretary, Priti Patel has said.

The fresh rules, as revealed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last Sunday, mean that people who are currently settled in the UK will be able to bring immediate family members from Ukraine into the country.

Family members who are eligible to apply for these visas are a spouse or civil partner, an unmarried partner of at least two years, a parent or their child if one is under the age of 18, or adult relatives who are carers.

But despite the changes to the rules, Mr Valdez-Symonds, speaking on GB News' Talking Pints with Nigel Farage, believes the Government’s visa system still doesn't do enough.

He said “The UK visa system is designed specifically not to cope, it isn’t there to provide route to find safety, there are no visas for that which is why people who do need safety in this country make the sort of dangerous journeys that they do.

“And if things carry on as they are, we could see Ukrainians on those boats in the channel.

“This is part of the problem, if we say no to shared responsibility for refugees then we see smugglers and others making large sums of money, people on dangerous journeys and all sorts of chaos that the country then receives with large numbers of people that are arriving from routes that aren’t managed.

“Quite clearly large numbers of people have been forced to flee. We already know there’s hundreds of people trying to reach this country, which is a very small number of people, but none the less we might expect it to grow.

“The Government has given estimates about the number of people who might be able to come who have family here, so we could be seeing a large number of people, but we don’t know yet.”

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