The Rejoin EU Party has condemned as callous and ludicrous the British government’s suggestion that Ukrainian refugees who wish to come to the UK should avail themselves of a temporary-worker visa scheme.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has reportedly ruled out following the example of the EU and waiving visas for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of their country, saying they would still have to apply to come to the UK and that the government was extending visas for temporary workers in some sectors.
Party leader Richard Hewison said, “That the Home Secretary seriously believes the victims of Putin’s war machine are in any way comparable to seasonal fruit pickers can only be explained by the extent to which her promotion of Brexit has poisoned her mind on all matters related to immigration and asylum.
“We have the deepest moral duty now to work with the EU to create a comprehensive continent-wide response to this crisis, one that spreads the inevitable responsibilities it creates in the most humane, rational and equitable manner possible.
“Of course, our leaving the EU has made this more difficult and alas not just technically. All the empty talk of ‘global’ in opposition to ‘European’ Britain by the advocates of Brexit has clearly blinded this government to the extent of our geo-strategic, and above all ethical and cultural connections with and thus obligations to, our fellow Europeans.”
Party chairman Andrew Smith added, “The fact that Brexit was part of Putin’s general strategy to weaken and divide Europe, of which his aggression against Ukraine is the latest, most violent and outrageous expression, has fatally compromised the British government’s response to this crisis.
“The British opponents of our EU membership must now explain why they so wanted our country to leave and why Ukrainians are now fighting and dying for their country to join.”
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