1 March 2022
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown calls for cross-governmental approach to welcoming Ukrainian refugees

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown called on the Home Secretary to ensure a cross-governmental approach to welcoming Ukrainian refugees. 

He said we should actively be working with our European partners for a fair and generous asylum system to help any of our Ukrainian cousins wishing to come to the UK to do so.  We must make sure that we have in place the means to properly care for those who arrive, many will be vulnerable, especially the elderly and families with young children. Many will also be traumatised by what has happened and the loss they have experienced, therefore, I am pleased that the Home Secretary is committed to working with other departments for a coherent and welcoming approach. 

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con)

Following on from the question of the hon. Member for Sheffield South East (Mr Betts), can my right hon. Friend say a little more? I accept that it is not her direct responsibility, but he asked about the cross-Government effort to ensure that refugees coming into this country are given a proper welcome. They may well be traumatised and have lost their principal family member. They may never see them again. They may require medical attention. They may be old. They may be young. Can we have a cross-Government effort to ensure that they are properly welcomed to this country?

Priti Patel (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)

I give my hon. Friend that reassurance. This is a whole-of-Government effort. As I think I mentioned, we learn from previous efforts. Syria and Afghanistan were harrowing conflicts. People arrived in our country. I still speak to those who were involved in developing the Syrian scheme, the sponsorship scheme and the resettlement scheme. People came over who were traumatised and really sick. It was the same for Afghanistan, last year alone; I met many of those individuals and families as well. The situations are highly traumatic and deeply distressing. We are well aware of what needs to be provided, but it will be a national effort across all aspects of society.