UK must have 'open door' asylum policy for Ukrainians, Shelagh Fogarty declares

28 February 2022, 14:28

By Seán Hickey

Britain should be welcoming refugees from war-torn countries, Shelagh Fogarty argues amid the Ukraine crisis.

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The government is coming under severe pressure to welcome Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion, while the Borders Bill is set to be debated in the House of Lords today.

Read more: Words of mass destruction: Truss vs Putin after Russia issues nuclear threat

The current iteration of the legislation makes Britain a far more hostile host nation to refugees and asylum seekers fleeing conflicts such as the Ukrainian one, with some articles in the bill effectively criminalising people if they enter the UK to claim asylum without a visa.

Read more: James O'Brien: Vladimir Putin has made a 'massive miscalculation' in Ukraine

Shelagh Fogarty pushed against the government's current position, which is to only allow Ukrainians who have family settled in the UK to come here. She insisted we should welcome these people with open arms.

She argued that "we should always manage immigration" and an open door in all cases is far from the solution, but there is a difference with the current situation.

Read more: Defence sec clashes with Liz Truss as he tells untrained Brits not to fight in Ukraine

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"When we're specifically talking about refugees as clear and as present as what's happening in Ukraine, surely if we have any nobility about us as a nation, we just say, come! Yes! Open doors!"

Shelagh went on: "This isn't millions and millions and millions of people, this isn't something that is going to upend our society."

"I know this country is full of brilliant, generous, giving human beings.

"Our government at the moment seems to be speaking to a very different constituency."

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