MP criticises 'bureaucratic' government refugee policy over Ukraine

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Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney has criticised the government's current refugee policy over Ukraine. - Credit: Jamie Honeywood

Waveney's MP has criticised the Home Office's 'bureaucratic' refugee policy over Ukraine, highlighting concerns that the policy is not working well or quick enough.

Peter Aldous, MP for Waveney, said the expanded the Ukrainian Family Scheme and the Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine has not gone far enough to help refugees fleeing war torn Ukraine.

The Ukraine Family Scheme has been set up by the Home Office and allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK.

The Local Sponsorship Scheme allows for Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes to have a route to safety in the UK but has come under criticism over visa troubles.

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Displaced Ukrainians stand in a line on the train platform after arriving from Ukraine at the station in Przemysl, Poland. - Credit: AP

Mr Aldous said: "There is a need to ensure that there is an effective and accessible system that enables Ukrainian refugees to come to the UK.

"Whilst the Home Office have quickly put in place a framework that includes the expanded Ukrainian Family Scheme and the Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine, there is a concern that these routes are too bureaucratic and are not yet working well or quickly enough.

"The daily reports of the emerging humanitarian crisis in Ukraine are alarming, many constituents are contacting me expressing their upset and some are being incredibly generous in offering to open up their homes to those who are being forced to flee their own homes."

Mr Aldous recently told of his horror at the illegal invasion of Ukraine and stressed that a change in leadership at the top of government is still needed following on from the partygate scandal.

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Home Secretary Priti Patel announced a change to the current refugee policy over Ukraine. - Credit: Phil Morley

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On Thursday, home secretary Priti Patel announced refugees won't need to go to a visa application centre if they are coming from Ukraine.

Instead they will be able to apply digitally, and give their biometric data when they get to the UK, allowing for a smoother process.

Mr Aldous added: "As we are doing with the provision of military defence and welfare assistance on the ground in the Ukraine, it is important that Britain provides leadership in supporting those who are being forced to flee their homeland."