Good morning. While some aspects of the government’s response to the war in Ukraine have been generally praised, the attitude towards refugees from the conflict seeking asylum in Britain has drawn strong criticism, including from the Tories. And last night it came to light that among the people disappointed by the policy adopted by Preeti Patel, Home Secretary, is… Patel himself. He told Harry Cole from The Sun:
In response to the desperation I saw with my own eyes at the Polish border two days ago, I am urgently stepping up my response to the growing humanitarian crisis.
I am now investigating legal options for creating a humanitarian route.
This means that anyone running away from the conflict in Ukraine will have the right to enter this country without joining Britain.
Cole said in his report that Patel is referring to the possibility of establishing a new route for Ukrainians wanting to come to the UK – separate from the Ukraine Family Scheme, which was extended last week, and local sponsorship for Ukraine. The scheme, the details of which have not been announced yet.
Although Patel shared his thinking with The Sun, it does not appear to have been communicated to others in the government, and this has led to some confusion as to what exactly is being planned. These are from the BBC’s chief political correspondent, Adam Fleming, today morning.
And this is from the BBC’s home affairs editor, Mark Easton.
James Clever, Foreign Office Minister, is giving interviews this morning, and he has been unable to shed much light on what is happening. He told the Today program this morning that the two existing routes “remain the same”.
But he also emphasized that there were “neither goals nor limits” to the number of Ukrainians to be recruited. Last week the government said an additional 200,000 could be allowed into the country instead of its two routes.
We’ll hear from Boris Johnson later, so maybe Number 10 will have cleared a line by then.
Here is the agenda for the day.
morning: Boris Johnson visits an RAF base with his Canadian and Dutch counterparts, Justin Trudeau and Mark Root.
11.30 am: The lobby briefing takes place in Downing Street.
1.05 pm: Natasha de Terran, former head of corporate affairs at SWIFT, and other financial experts give evidence to the Commons Treasury Committee on Sanctions Against Russia.
at 2 pm: Foreign Secretary Liz Truss gives evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Commons.
After 3.30 pm: MPs begin debate on Economic Offenses Bill. The second reading debate can go on for four hours, and after that MPs will debate the amendment and finish the remaining phases of the bill.
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