Engagements

Part of Prime Minister – in the House of Commons on 9th March 2022.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader

I do not think the Prime Minister understands the scale of the challenge or the urgency. These are people fleeing war crimes, torn apart from their families as their homes are shelled, and the Home Secretary is blocking them with endless paperwork. That is not just incompetence; this is ideology. In the face of the biggest refugee crisis in Europe since the second world war, the UK Government will not set aside the hostile environment. [Interruption.] By the way, we are seeing the hostile environment this afternoon—Conservative Members might quieten down a bit.

We have seen that too many times from a Tory Home Office: the Windrush scandal, the “Go home” vans, and the inhumane Nationality and Borders Bill. The UK Home Office is raising barriers and bureaucracy when we should be offering care and compassion. I say to the Prime Minister that he should not let the history of failure repeat itself. Scotland stands ready to offer sanctuary and refuge, so will he join the rest of the European continent and waive the visa restrictions for refugees fleeing war in Ukraine?