Margaret Greenwood MP has asked the government if it will offer the UK as a place of sanctuary for people fleeing Ukraine.
The Wirral West MP was speaking in a parliamentary debate which was called by Labour.
As of 2 March, it was estimated that over 870,000 people had fled Ukraine for neighbouring countries including Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova.
Last week, in a letter to the Times, a number of leading charities including Amnesty International, Save the Children, the Refugee Council and dozens of others urged the UK to play a role in providing sanctuary.
They said that the attack on Ukraine could be “the most significant European conflict since the collapse of Yugoslavia.”
So far, the government has taken measures to enable those with family ties to the UK to join their families in the UK. This is a rapidly developing situation, and the latest Home Office advice – including advice for British nationals in Ukraine and how to apply for a visa under the various schemes that are currently available – can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/wapfwt44
Ministers have also confirmed that the government has pledged £220 million of aid, which includes £120 million of humanitarian assistance, providing Ukrainians with access to the basic necessities and vital medical supplies.
The Disasters Emergency Committee, which brings together 15 leading UK aid charities, has now launched its Ukrainian humanitarian appeal. Anybody wishing to donate can do so via their website: https://www.dec.org.uk/
Margaret Greenwood MP said, “My thoughts are with all of those who are affected by Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine.
“It is a desperately tragic situation. There has already been huge loss of life and, people’s homes are being destroyed.
“The UN estimates that four million residents could flee their country, creating the largest refugee crisis that Europe has witnessed for decades.
“It is absolutely vital that the government does all it can to ensure that we are providing essential humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine.
“It is vital too that the government offers the UK as a place of sanctuary for people who are fleeing for their lives. The government has made arrangements for people who have family here, but it must go further. We cannot stand by as people are bombed and killed in their homes.”