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

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Leader of the Conservative Party, The Prime Minister

I thank the right hon. Gentleman very much. The whole House wants to do as much as we can as fast as possible, but what he says about the UK is, I am afraid, completely wrong, because we have visa centres open in Warsaw, Budapest, Prague, Rzeszów in Poland, Chi inău in Moldova, Bucharest and elsewhere. We have already got 1,000 people in under the existing scheme. That number will climb very sharply. Look at what we have done already—15,000 from Afghanistan, 104,000 applications from Hong Kong Chinese, and I think there were about 25,000 from Syria. No one has been turned away. That is simply—[Interruption.] We want to be as generous—[Interruption.] It is important to have checks. Let me make this point to the House because I think people need to understand.

There are some people who would like to dispense with checks altogether and simply to wave people through—[Interruption.] I hear the voices on the Opposition Benches, and I think that that is irresponsible and is not the approach that we should be taking. The Schengen countries have a different arrangement. We must be in no doubt, as I said in answer to a previous question, that the Kremlin has singled out this country for the approach that we are taking, and we know how unscrupulous Vladimir Putin can be in his methods. It would not be right to expose this country to unnecessary security risk and we will not do it. We are going to be as generous as we can possibly be, but we must have checks.