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Mark Drakeford calls on UK Government to ‘cut red tape’ to let Wales take more Ukrainian refugees

08 Mar 2022 2 minute read
The Ukrainian flag and Mark Drakeford.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has called on the UK Government to “cut the red tape” to allow Wales to take more Ukrainian refugees,

The First Minister said that Wales was “ready” to take refugees but that the UK Government needed to do more to ensure that “safe and easy travel routes are available”.

Yesterday the Welsh Government spokesperson said they were in talks with Cardiff Airport, which they own, to discuss the feasibility of flying Ukrainian refugees directly into Wales.

“However, the UK Government is responsible for borders and immigration policy, and we continue to urge them to do more to provide sanctuary for those fleeing the atrocities in Ukraine,” they said.

Wizzair which has a base in Ukraine and Cardiff has offered to fly Ukrainian refugees into Wales from European countries.

Yesterday Plaid Cymru MP Ben Lake asked in the House of Commons for the UK Government to work with the Welsh Government to allow Cardiff Airport to be used to welcome Ukrainian refugees flowing into the country.

“The airline Wizz Air has offered to fly Ukrainian refugees from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, and there are indications that Cardiff airport could be a destination for some of these flights,” he said.

“I understand that there have been initial discussions with the Welsh Government, but would the Secretary of State lend his support to co-ordinating a post-flight visa processing facility at Cardiff airport, so that Ukrainians fleeing the warzone can be brought to Wales quickly and safely?”

Michael Gove answered: “I am very grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising that, and I will look closely, with my colleague the Home Secretary, at that proposition.

“It is important that we have appropriate biometric checks, for reasons that are well understood, but I appreciate the generosity of the offer, and indeed we have been talking to the Welsh Government about how we can coordinate our efforts.”

But taking to social media today, the First Minister said: “Wales is ready to support refugees from Ukraine but more needs to be done to ensure safe and easy travel routes are available.

“The UK Government needs to revisit its immigration policies to cut the red tape and do more to help those fleeing the violence in Ukraine.”


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Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
6 months ago

If Wales was an independent country Mark we wouldnt need to beg Johnson’s callous UK govt to be able to take refugees from Ukraine into Wales. Ireland has already taken in 2000 refugees from Ukraine (the british govt have taken in just 50)

Last edited 6 months ago by Leigh Richards
Lionel Schwarz
Lionel Schwarz
6 months ago
Reply to  Leigh Richards

50 visas so far, and that is increasing.

Ireland hasn’t given anywhere near the level of military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine that the UK has.

There are already people presenting as Ukrainian who aren’t. These things need to be done properly for both sides.

Richard
Richard
6 months ago
Reply to  Lionel Schwarz

Pro Putin Troll 😈 warning ⚠️ ..?
they are back 🇷🇺 on the site ….divide and rule agenda again

defaid
defaid
6 months ago
Reply to  Lionel Schwarz

Doing things ‘properly’ hasn’t worked out too well for the frightened, vulnerable and disposessed so far, has it? Even Belarus has taken more refugees than the UK and they are on the other side.

There’s no time, and all the arms in the world will be no use to Ukrainians whose final resting place is under a Russian missile.

Your attempt at deflection isn’t working.

Last edited 6 months ago by defaid
Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
6 months ago
Reply to  Lionel Schwarz

Even conservative MPs are condemning their own govt’s pathetic response to the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in ukraine https://www.kentonline.co.uk/herne-bay/news/amp/government-misled-parliament-over-ukraine-refugee-crisis-263624/

katy monaghan
katy monaghan
6 months ago

Where are we going to house them? When we are already overwhelmed in Wales with refugees, who are still waiting for permanent housing, in places like hostels, hotels, closed down department stores like Debenhams in Cardiff and desperately awaiting a basic, family home (or single bed home) The housing is going up on every spare piece of land green and brown belt! We have very few Dentists who already have long long waiting lists, GP practices closing and overcrowded schools in poor areas that have to keep sending children home as not enough teaching staff (i.e. Cardiff West Community College)… Read more »

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
6 months ago
Reply to  katy monaghan

Have a video of one of your idols, https://youtu.be/mxX139C-kwo

Which branch of the Monaghan immigrants are you from? Your ancestors might well have been refugees from famine themselves so think on.

Last edited 6 months ago by Kerry Davies
Leigh Richardss
Leigh Richardss
6 months ago
Reply to  katy monaghan

Er perhaps we could learn something from Ireland? Which has so far taken in 2000 refugees from Ukraine and is willing to take in many more https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukraine-refugees-ireland-uk-b2030063.html

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  katy monaghan

Seize all property owned by Russian oligarchs and house them there

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Perhaps it might be sensible not to try to do everything in Cardiff. After all there is quite a lot more to Wales than that little over crowded area. indeed so many other things would be better distributed out from Cardiff to the rest of the country since we don’t want Cardiff to become the Little London within Wales.

The rest of Wales has lots of holiday lets/second homes that could easily be requisitioned. Doing that might also provide such a shock to the second home market that perhaps it would begin to shrink.

Gareth
Gareth
6 months ago
Reply to  katy monaghan

Please could you name the place/places in Cymru that are “overwhelmed ” with refugees, because I live here, and have not seen this. Just a couple of places will do.

defaid
defaid
6 months ago
Reply to  katy monaghan

Overwhelmed?

I haven’t met one.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

The Tories are all about red tape when it suits their insular narrow agenda. So far only a pitiful 50 – 300 Ukrainian, refugees have been granted a visa, figures vary, by Oligarch Boris Johnson’s Conservative government.

Two million desperate people have fled Ukraine because of despot Putin’s invasion. Our Welsh Government wants to give refugees a safe haven in Wales but are hindered by Whitehall’s Soviet-style Berlin wall.

Last edited 6 months ago by Y Cymro
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 months ago

It won’t because the UKGov just doesn’t care. Cruel and heartless.

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