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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Does Britain really want Ukrainian refugees?

Does Britain really want Ukrainian refugees?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

This is a digital-only ThinkIn. Come to any of our ThinkIns on the invasion of Ukraine for free to contribute to the discussion, using the invite code JOININ.

The polls suggest that Britain wants to welcome Ukrainian refugees, and the government has announced commitments to allow more than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees into the country. But a difficult dilemma remains: many people voted Brexit so the UK would reclaim control of its borders, and two weeks after the invasion, the number of visas issued remains very small. Britain has issued under 1,000 visas – an amount dwarfed by smaller European countries like Moldova and Romania. 

How can the government reconcile its pledge to impose tighter controls on immigration, with the need to respond to the refugee crisis caused by the invasion? Was the confusion around entry requirements just incompetence, or is time to admit the UK is now a hostile environment for migrants?

editor and invited experts

Giles Whittell
Sensemaker Editor

Daniel Sohege
Safeguarding Expert, Love146

Enver Solomon
Chief Executive, Refugee Council