Brexiteer emails BBC Breakfast to complain about Ukrainian refugees

Baftas: Andy Serkis hits out at Priti Patel over Ukraine refugee crisis ...
The Independent

BBC Breakfast on Sunday read out an email from a Brexiteer about his views on Ukrainian refugees.

The Brexiteer, identified as James, began his letter by asking: “How about reading an email from those of us who are unhappy about more immigration?”

The letter read by Victoria Derbyshire, continued: “We voted Brexit to keep it down, since then we’ve had Hong Kong, Afghanistan, and now Ukraine.

"They won’t be returning, why would they? We’ll be joined by the men later and resettled here in the homes we were building for those already here.”

From today, people keen to offer refugees shelter in the UK can register their interest in sponsoring Ukrainians through the government’s new humanitarian scheme.

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People on Twitter were shocked by the letter, and even Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden weighed in.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has said the process of matching Britons with people fleeing the conflict will take place from Friday, while he expects the first refugees to use the new route will make their way to the UK by the end of the week.

Speaking yesterday, Gove mistakenly said 300,000 visas had been given to Ukrainian refugees, before admitting that only 3,000 has been issued. He added that “tens of thousands” more will be provided.

The government has faced criticism for its response to the crisis, however, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan this morning calling the UK’s response to the refugee crisis “embarrassing” compared to other countries.

He told Good Morning Britain that the visa system must be simplified as it is “far too complicated for those from Ukraine to come to London, and our country”.

He added: “Councils are ready to step up, hotels are ready to step up, businesses are ready to step up, Londoners are ready to step up.

“The issue now is the delay in the visas but also we need to make sure there’s the right support, the wrap-around care.

“Many of these people will be traumatised, they need medical support. The children will need spaces in schools. We need to make sure English is available to those who can’t speak English. We need to make sure they can work straight away, those with the skills.

“With the right support, with the visas being sorted out, we should be able to do at least what Germany and France and Italy and Spain and others have been doing. It’s embarrassing when you compare what little we’ve done with most of what our neighbours have done.”

The Independent has a proud history of campaigning for the rights of the most vulnerable, and we first ran our Refugees Welcome campaign during the war in Syria in 2015. Now, as we renew our campaign and launch this petition in the wake of the unfolding Ukrainian crisis, we are calling on the government to go further and faster to ensure help is delivered.

  • To find out more about our Refugees Welcome campaign, click here.
  • To sign the petition click here.
  • If you would like to donate then please click here for our GoFundMe page.

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