Oonagh Keating. Updated February 28th, 2022
The situation in Ukraine remains bleak and incredibly dangerous for everybody there, which is why many have fled into nearby friendly countries, such as Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.
While those and other countries are doing whatever they can to accommodate the Ukrainians, it’s crucial that others open their borders to take some of those running from the Russian threat.
This announcement was certainly a huge step in the right direction.
EU announces it has agreed unanimously amongst all member countries to take in Ukrainian refugees fir up to 3 years without asking them to first apply for asylum. Just been announced following a meeting of EU Interior ministers
— Katya Adler (@BBCkatyaadler) February 27, 2022
It only served to further highlight the belief that the UK is simply not doing enough.
Danish government: We’ll take 20,000 Ukrainian refugees
Polish government: You don’t need a passport. Come here for safety & you can even bring your pets
UK government: We lit up some buildings blue & yellow
— joe heenan (@joeheenan) February 26, 2022
In Ireland, they’re waving visas. https://t.co/dtuWocjOw9
— James Oh Brien (@mrjamesob) February 26, 2022
Lord Alf Dubs, who came to the UK from Prague under the Kindertransport programme, urged the government to play its part.
The UK government must urgently offer sanctuary to its fair share of Ukrainian refugees, just as #Ukraine‘s neighbors, #Ireland and #Portugal have. We cannot publically say we’re doing everything to help Ukraine but then turn our backs on those fleeing https://t.co/b5CFlyuiez
— Alf Dubs (@AlfDubs) February 26, 2022
Labor MP Luke Pollard reacted to the news that no concessions would be made to confront the critical need.
It’s simply immoral that the Home Office is still applying normal visa restrictions to those fleeing Ukraine.
Ministers need to urgently sort out a simple sanctuary route to the UK for all who need it. This is our moral duty. 🇬🇧🇺🇦 #StandWithUkraine
— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) February 26, 2022
Kevin Foster, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Safe and Legal Migration, had a criminally offhand response.
Yesterday I pressed Ministers on opening safe routes to sanctuary in Britain for those fleeing war in Ukraine. The Immigration Minister replied suggesting visas to pick fruit on British farms. I like Kevin but this was painfully unaware and unkind. We need safe routes open now 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/p0SEm7IECM
— Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) February 27, 2022
Here’s the Immigration minister Kevin Foster saying Ukrainian refugees can come to UK and pick fruit
— Ava-Santina (@AvaSantina) February 26, 2022
David Lammy referenced it to Trevor Phillips.
People are fleeing war with their children in their arms.
Why is the government telling them to apply for visas designed for fruit pickers? pic.twitter.com/9fRoH63HAN
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) February 27, 2022
He was far from being in the minority with his condemnation.
New line from the Tours: Ukrainian refugees can apply for DEFRA seasonal worker visas. I kid you not.
— Jessica Simor QC (@JMPSimor) February 26, 2022
— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) February 27, 2022
Waives visa requirements for Ukrainians
Sets up welcome for up to 1 million refugees
well you should have thought about this before you got invaded outside of peak strawberry picking season pic.twitter.com/kTpnP04vjj
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) February 27, 2022
— Otto English (@Otto_English) February 27, 2022
Johnson says internet is full of fake news and UK is “way out in front in our willingness to help refugees.” The Home Office is still tweeting about Ukrainians needing to apply for visas. to get clarity and facts from our government.
— Adil Ray OBE (@adilray) February 26, 2022
Tragic weekend in Ukraine.
Johnson – says we’re ‘way out in front’ on refugees. A lie.
Patel – defends the indefensible, badly.
Truss – takes selfies.
Kevin Foster – immigration minister tells us Ukrainians can come on seasonal worker visas.
Unserious, vine, soulless.
— sarah murphy (@13sarahmurphy) February 27, 2022
Just go through a complex process to find out if you qualify to come to the UK temporarily as a seasonal worker to pick our fruit.
Yes, that is what the tweet below means.
No, it’s not a parody account. It’s Kevin Foster, Home Office Parliamentary Under-Secretary. pic.twitter.com/tvth2TR9QM
— Prof Tanja Bueltmann (@TanjaBueltmann) February 26, 2022
How anyone can say this to Ukrainians facing the horror brings Putin is one thing, but this is the actual immigration minister whose job is it to understand the situation those fleeing to this country face – not ask them to pick fruit to justify being kept safe #RefugeesWelcome https://t.co/TaZFsbNRdz
— stellacreasy (@stellacreasy) February 26, 2022
This is a Conservative MP suggesting Ukrainians wishing to flee an invasion apply for the UK’s seasonal worker scheme (eg vegetable picking) to qualify for a visa. The callousness is shocking. This is being suggested in your names; demand better. pic.twitter.com/DH0D3J3Ztc
— Larry the Cat (@Number10cat) February 26, 2022
Fleeing war? Apply to come to the UK and pick berries! https://t.co/kjKIXZ8ydr
— Alex Andreou (@sturdyAlex) February 27, 2022
Kevin Foster MP can, like a Russian battleship, go fuck himself. 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/e1QOS2kena
— Mike Galsworthy 🇺🇦 (@mikegalsworthy) February 26, 2022
It is easier for a Russian Oligarch to enter The House of Lords, than for a Ukrainian refugee to enter into the Kingdom of England.” (Johnson. 20:22.)
— The WoodCelt 🇺🇦🇷🇷🇺 (@JimAConnor) February 26, 2022
Dan Hodges had an important question.
That Kevin Foster tweet will he deleted soon. But the confusion over Ukrainian refugees underlines a broader issue. The Government have been warning about a potential invasion for months. How are they so manifestly unprepared for the practical consequences.
— (((Dan Hodges)) (@DPJHodges) February 26, 2022
Perhaps there can be a different arrangement.
how about all Ukrainian refugees are allowed in and Priti Patel has to go and pick fruit instead
— dave ❄️ 🥕 🧻 (@davemacladd) February 28, 2022
A Tory councillor got totally owned for saying Boris Johnson was on the front line