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London defends itself against French criticism

France’s interior minister on Saturday criticized the UK’s “lack of humanity” towards Ukrainian refugees stranded in Calais.

The UK government said on Sunday it could “simply” not open the UK’s doors, after it came under fire from France for its “lack of humanity” towards Ukrainian refugees who have returned to Calais.

“If we just open the door, we will not benefit the people we need to benefit, the real refugees, but I think we will undermine popular support,” Justice Minister Dominic Raab said. BBC. “We must make sure that we act for those who need our support,” he added.

250 refugees returned

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Saturday in a letter to his British counterpart Priti Patel criticized the “completely inadequate response” and “lack of humanity” of the UK towards Ukrainian refugees who have returned to Calais, a French port city.

Since February 28, 517 Ukrainians who fled their country have tried to rejoin their families in England via the port of Calais or the site of the Channel Tunnel in Coquille. And the province of Pas-de-Calais announced in a press release on Sunday that 250 of them, without visas, had been turned back by British authorities. During the night from Saturday to Sunday, “136 needy people found refuge in the hostel of Calais.”

“This situation is unrealistic because it forces these people, already exhausted by their long and horrific journey, to go to Paris or Brussels, to the embassies to carry out visa procedures there,” the province also lamented, again calling on the British authorities. to “change their system, so that consular solutions can be found locally.”

Darmanin calls for ‘problem’ to be resolved ‘quickly’

For several days, the situation of the displaced has been a source of contention between London and Paris, whose relations have already been strained by the issue of the illegal crossing of migrants.

The French government announced Thursday that the United Kingdom will set up a “sort of a consulate” in Calais to issue visas directly to Ukrainians there.

But, “Right now, ‘We’ll see, we’ll see,’ it’s been four days now,” Gerald Darmanen said on the radio on Sunday (European 1) and television (c . news) French.

“I have a very good relationship with Mrs. Patel,” he added. “I’m sure she’s a good woman. She will solve this problem, but she has to solve it quickly.”

UK review

The British government was also criticized this week in the UK for its lack of generosity for refugees, and for relaxing visa requirements for Ukrainians who have relatives in that country.

Brits and UK residents can bring in their family members who live in Ukraine, who can obtain a three-year residence permit, after security checks.

According to Britain’s Home Office, “about 50 visas” had been granted in this framework as of Sunday morning, while more than 5,500 applications had been completed online and nearly 2,400 people had booked an appointment. To submit their visa apply.

“We are doing everything we can, increasing capacity at every (visa) application center across the EU,” said Minister Priti Patel.

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