Politics

Labour peer urges UK to take refugees from Ukraine amid surging tensions with Russia

Ukraine: British expat reveals locals doubt US intelligence

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Lord Dubs, 89, who fled to Britain in 1939, has called on ministers to be “sympathetic” to the idea of taking refugees in the event of an invasion. The Labour Peer told the Telegraph that if an invasion led to a humanitarian disaster Britain should accept a quota of refugees under agreements with the United Nations and other European nations.

However, Lord Dubs argued that if a conflict breaks out initially Britain will need to focus on supporting Poland and the Baltic States.

He said: “The first thing we should do is give support to Poland and the Baltic states to provide accommodation and general medical help and food and so on.

“That’s the main thing we can do at this stage.”

Lord Dubs urged Britain to be particularly sympathetic to potential refugees who had an “obvious link” to the UK such as family members living here.

The British Government has mobilised 1,000 troops on standby to assist with a potential refugee crisis.

According to US assessments between one and five million people could be displaced, with the majority expected to go to Poland.

At present, the Government is helping British nationals leave Ukraine, as well as assisting Ukrainians who have family members who hold British passports.

A Whitehall source told The Telegraph: “They can come [to Britain] under family migration routes. 

“We are keen to use the systems that are already in place.”

General Lord Dannatt, a former head of the British Army, said neighbouring countries would be best placed to support refugees from Ukraine.

He said: “Therefore those affected would be better placed to be offered safe sanctuary in neighbouring countries friendly to Ukraine.”

Conservative MP Bob Seely said that Russia may “weaponise” refugees to create chaos. 

He said: “They may deliberately drive refugees to make it difficult for the Ukrainians to get around.”

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