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More than half of Britons ‘support no-visa policy for Ukrainian refugees’

The Government continues to face criticism that its current policies do not go far enough to help those fleeing the conflict.

26 March 2022

More than half of Britons think the Government should drop visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees, according to a new poll.

The research, conducted by Savanta ComRes for the Independent, found that 54% back a no-visa policy, allowing unlimited numbers of Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

This compares to just 21% who said the Government should keep the requirements, the publication reported.

The poll also found that public opinion on Boris Johnson’s response to the conflict may have been marred by his Government’s refugee policy.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan takes part in a solidarity march in London for Ukraine, following the Russian invasion (Aaron Chown/PA)

While 53% said the Prime Minister has had a good overall approach to the war, only 42% said this was the case when it came to refugees.

There are two UK schemes for Ukrainian refugees: the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, for which anybody with space to house a refugee can apply; and the Ukraine family scheme, for those who already have relatives in the UK.

Some 21,000 visas had been issued under the Ukraine family scheme as of Friday, and a total of 36,300 applications had been submitted, according to provisional data published on the Home Office’s website.

But the Government continues to face criticism that the policies do not go far enough to help those fleeing the conflict.

Sadiq Khan on Saturday said the UK should be doing “much more” to aid Ukrainian refugees as he joined a march in support of the country.

The Mayor of London joined a large crowd near Hyde Park for a march and vigil to send a unified message of support to the people of Ukraine.

Speaking ahead of the demonstration, he told the PA news agency: “Londoners over the last few weeks have shown that we’re opening our arms to Ukrainian refugees, whether it’s by donating money to those charities doing a brilliant job in Ukraine or by opening our homes to those fleeing Ukraine.

“It is important throughout the next few days, weeks to make it far, far easier, and much more easier for those who are fleeing Ukraine to come here.

“You compare our Government’s actions versus the actions of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, it’s embarrassing.

“We’ve got be doing much more.”

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