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Does Britain really want Ukrainian refugees?

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 WhittellSensemaker Editor Daniel SohegeSafeguarding Expert, Love146 Enver SolomonChief Executive, Refugee Council


The death of Mercy Baguma: is the UK asylum system broken or just cruel?

Make sense of this week’s major news stories in a live editorial conference with Tortoise editors. Our daily digital ThinkIns are exclusively for Tortoise members and their guests.Try Tortoise free for four weeks to unlock your complimentary tickets to all our digital ThinkIns.If you’re already a member and looking for your ThinkIn access code you can find it in the My Tortoise > My Membership section of the app next to ‘ThinkIn access code’.We’d love you to join us.Last month the cries of a distressed toddler led Glasgow police to the body of his mother, a 34 year-old Ugandan asylum-seeker. Mercy Baguma could not work because of Covid, and she was an NRPF – with No Recourse to Public Funds because of her asylum status. She died in “extreme poverty”. Is there any justification for the system that let this happen, or is it, as Claudia Webbe MP has said, a stain on our collective soul?Chair: Giles Whittell, Editor and Partner, TortoiseSensemaker Live is in partnership with Santander.Our special guests include:Yvonne Blake is the co-founder of MORE (Migrants Organising for Rights and Employment) in Glasgow. She is a lifelong advocate of social justice, collective responsibility, lifelong and life-wide learning. Her activism focuses on providing practical support through capacity building, networking and skills sharing to empower the migrant community, which she believes are fundamental in the transformative process of black economic liberation and self-actualisation.How does a digital ThinkIn work?A digital ThinkIn is like a video conference, hosted by a Tortoise editor, that takes place at the advertised time of the event. Digital ThinkIns are new to Tortoise. Now that our newsroom has closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, we feel it’s more important than ever that we ‘get together’ to talk about the world and what’s going on.The link to join the conversation will be emailed to you after you have registered for your ticket to attend. When you click the link, you enter the digital ThinkIn and can join a live conversation from wherever you are in the world. Members can enter their unique members’ access code to book tickets. Find yours in My Tortoise > My Membership in the Tortoise app.If you have any questions or get stuck, please read our FAQs, or get in touch with us at memberhelp@tortoisemedia.comRead our ThinkIn code of conduct here.What is a Tortoise ThinkIn?A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. It is a place where everyone has a seat at the (virtual) table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise.How we work with partners We want to be open about the business model of our journalism, too. At Tortoise, we don’t take ads. We don’t want to chase eyeballs or sell data. We don’t want to add to the clutter of life with ever more invasive ads. We think that ads force newsrooms to produce more and more stories, more and more quickly. We want to do less, better.Our journalism is funded by our members and our partners. We are establishing Founding Partnerships with a small group of businesses willing to back a new form of journalism, enable the public debate, share their expertise and communicate their point of view. Those companies, of course, know that we are a journalistic enterprise. Our independence is non-negotiable. If we ever have to choose between the relationship and the story, we’ll always choose the story.We value the support that those partners give us to deliver original reporting, patient investigations and considered analysis.We believe in opening up journalism so we can examine issues and develop ideas for the 21st Century. We want to do this with our members and with our partners. We want to give everyone a seat at the table.


Migration: The state of asylum

Worldwide the vast majority of asylum seekers come from failed and dangerous states to which they cannot return. Yet in many countries their status is a political football and their fates are determined by a process that requires them to prove first that they are not economic migrants. Britain is a case in point: internment pending verdict, no right to work and only a third of initial applications approved. What happened to common humanity? What is a Tortoise ThinkIn? A ThinkIn is not another panel discussion. It is a forum for civilised disagreement. Modelled on what we call a ‘leader conference’ in the UK (or an editorial board in the US), it is a place where everyone has a seat at the table. It’s where we get to hear what you think, drawn from your experience, energy and expertise. It’s where, together, we sift through what we know to come to a clear, concise point of view. It is the heart of what we do at Tortoise. Drinks from 6.30pm, starts promptly at 7pm.  Please note, latecomers won’t be admittedThinkIn tickets are included in all Tortoise memberships. There is no additional price to pay to attend a ThinkIn for members. Members can find their ThinkIn booking code in My Tortoise, under My Membership. Until Wednesday February 6 2019 only, non-members can enter the code SNOWYAY to book two complimentary tickets to any ThinkIn.