The United Kingdom is finally beginning to open some doors, if not to open the doors, to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion. After a slow start – between bureaucratic rigidity and boundaries on the “security” of borders not revoked even in the face of a war – the number of visas issued ad hoc for those arriving from the former USSR rose to almost 30,000.
This is certified by the latest updated data from the Ministry of the Interior (Home Office), according to which the entry permits granted to asylum seekers enrolled in the scheme called Homes for Ukraine, an initiative launched last week that allows families, associations and communities locals to offer hospitality to refugees are now approaching 5,000; while those granted under a first scheme previously made available by the government of Boris Johnson and reserved only for Ukrainians who already had family members residing overseas rose to 24,400. In total, the applications submitted under both of these aid programs have meanwhile exceeded 65,000, the ministry specified on its website, evoking an acceleration of the time for examining the procedures. And confirming the commitment of BoJo to reach – when fully operational – to give a roof on the island up to 200,000 fellow citizens of President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In recent weeks, the Johnson government had been the object of criticism for launching the operation to welcome displaced people with a dropper, compared to other European countries; and for having kept the visa requirement in force: all the more so in the face of the parallel “merits” claimed by Downing Street – and recognized by Kiev – in supporting Ukraine on the ground of sending armaments or pressure exerted in the Western field for an escalation of anti-Moscow sanctions. Visas on the granting of which Prime Minister Tory has in any case promised in the meantime a simplified procedure for the Ukrainians: rightly ensuring in recent days that he has recommended at least “a light hand” with respect to the squeeze of the standard rules on post-Brexit immigration heralded. for months by his own team.
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