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