Harrogate MP vows to keeps up pressure on Government to help Ukranian refugees

Harrogate and Knaresborough’s MP has welcomed Boris Johnson’s decision to  relax visa rules for refugees fleeing Ukraine but is calling on the Government to be flexible so that, as the situation in war-torn Ukraine changes, its policy on helping refugees can adapt quickly, too.

By Graham Chalmers
Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 3:50 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 3:52 pm
“We need to welcome refugees from Ukraine” - Andrew Jones MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough.
“We need to welcome refugees from Ukraine” - Andrew Jones MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough.

After welcoming the Government’s new scheme to allow close relatives of Ukrainian people settled in the UK to come over, Mr Jones said he would continue to take a keen interest in the situation to see that refugees did receive a “big, generous and open welcome”.

Mr Jones also revealed he had co-signed a letter to Boris Johnson earlier in the week putting pressure on the Prime Minister to do more to help.

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Mr Jones said: “I welcome the additional humanitarian support the Government has announced for the people of Ukraine. The extension of the package offered to refugees is a major step in the right direction.

“Alongside colleagues I wrote to the Prime Minister and also discussed the refugee issue with him personally.

“We need to give a big, generous and open welcome to those fleeing this horrific war. “I know that our communities will open their arms as they did to those fleeing Syria and Afghanistan.

“Support for those fleeing persecution and war is part of the British DNA. Anything less than the measures announced would have failed to live up to our ideals.”

Mr Jones said he expected the new measures to be introduced as a matter of urgency.

“I know that the Government is working fast to get these new schemes in place and I would expect them to be up and running by the weekend," said Harrogate's MP.

“The Ukrainian Family Scheme is to be extended so that adult parents, grandparents, children over 18, siblings and all of their immediate family members will be able to apply.

“All immigration fees are scrapped and those coming to this country can stay for 12 months and be able to work or access public funds.

“There is also going to be a new Ukrainian Sponsorship Humanitarian Visa Offer which will provide a route to the UK for Ukrainians who do not have family ties with the UK but who will instead be matched with individuals, businesses, community organisations, or councils willing and able to act as a sponsor”.