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James O'Brien rips apart UK's 'reluctant' response to Ukraine refugee crisis
1 March 2022, 12:44
James O'Brien questions why the government have been reluctant to offer the same welcome to Ukrainians fleeing war than EU member states.
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"You know and I know now that our country's response to the refugee crisis will be among the worst in the world – or let us say, among the worst in Europe", James O'Brien began.
His reflections came after the government pledged to house up to 200,000 Ukrainians in the UK in response to the Russian invasion.
Unlike many member states of the EU who have an open door policy for Ukrainian refugees, the UK is reserving asylum for those who have relatives or long-term partners who are British nationals.
"Dominic Raab claims that our responsibilities were less than other European countries because we're further away from Ukraine when other European countries."
"He's going to have an absolute hernia when he hears about Ireland, and where Ireland sits on the globe."
Asking listeners to offer an answer, James asked why the UK is an outlier: "What is it about the United Kingdom in the 21st century that has seen the reality and the issue of asylum seeking and refugees become so toxic?"
"Why do we have a government that seems terrified of doing what every other government in Europe has done, and saying 'you'll be safe here for a while'?"
James told listeners that "this country feels...reluctant" to the idea of welcoming Ukrainians fleeing war, and he couldn't work out why.