The UK’s relative lack of urgency, buck-passing, and insufficiency in the management of the recent wave of border-crossing Ukrainian refugees was largely criticized, as its lip-service has exposed its political calculation and hypocrisy which are also evident in its controversial history of dealing with refugee crises.
Great Britain has closely followed the US lead in stoking the flames of the Russia-Ukraine conflict but quibbled about responsibilities and costs, backpedaling its promise under the domestic debate and political pressure, experts noted.
The Global Times will publish a two-part series focusing on the mishandling of the refugee crisis in Britain and Australia, two loyal followers of the US, which will offer a glimpse of the hypocrisy and double standards of this white-supremacist political community. The AUKUS clique is most likely to cause unrest worldwide and be more prone to buck-passing when dealing with troubles, as experts say. This is part one of the series written by GT staff reporters.
UK’s lip service and buck-passing in refugee management
The UK has granted only 2,700 visas under its much-advertised Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme more than two weeks after its launch, according to figures from the Home Office released on March 30.
Other 22,800 visas were issued to Ukrainian refugees as the end of March under UK’s other “Ukraine Family Scheme,” launched on March 14 to allow individuals, charities, and businesses to bring Ukrainians – including those with no family ties to the UK – to safety, The Guardian reported. But the schemes were labeled “shambolic” by volunteers.
However, the UK retains a visa requirement on security grounds while other European countries have waived such requirements in response to the humanitarian crisis, Sky News reported.
The UK’s home secretary was denounced by Ian Blackford, the Westminster leader of the Scottish National Party, for the “slowest, most bureaucratic, and incompetent refugee responses in the whole of Europe ” in parliament in March.
Ukrainians who fled to Poland feel deterred by UK’s complex rules, denouncing its visa regulations, which have been lifted by many other EU countries, as a means “to ensure Ukrainians do not come to the UK,” as refugees were quoted as saying by The Guardian.
Refugees arriving at Warsaw’s central station told The Guardian that they were baffled by the rules of the UK government that require a sponsor in Britain before applying for a visa, which could take weeks to be processed. None said they knew anyone in the UK who could sponsor them. Domestic media and refugee charities tagged the government’s policy as “vague and insufficient.”
“Seven hundred and sixty visa approvals in two weeks are disgraceful. In that time Poland has taken over 1.2 million refugees. Hungary has taken 190,000 refugees. Germany has taken over 50,000 refugees. Italy has over 17,000 refugees. Ireland, a country of just over 5 million people, has given sanctuary to three times as many refugees as the UK,” Ian said.