Ukrainian refugees - Once again, Brexit Britain makes the EU look weak

UK has granted nearly 2½ times as many visas as France

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2023

If the BBC won’t report this, Facts4EU.Org will – Over 212,000 Ukrainian visas issued

When it comes to Putin’s war, the UK is taking in Ukrainian refugees AND leading Europe’s military effort. The UK has so far approved huge numbers, and 155,500 have arrived so far

The latest data issued yesterday by the Home Office reveals that Brexit Britain has issued nearly 2.5 times more visas to Ukrainian refugees than France has.

Below we show the truth of how Brexit Britain has stepped up in offering a place of refuge for large numbers of Ukrainian refugees from Putin’s war.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Ukraine Scheme visa applications

UK Home Office data, as at 10 Jan 2023

  • Over ¼ of a million (259,400) visa applications received by the Home Office
  • 212,600 visas have been issued so far (82%)
  • Total arrivals of Ukrainian refugees to date : 155,500
  • Almost 70% of applicants have been female

[Source: UK Home Office, published 13 Jan 2023.]

How does the UK compare to EU countries?

Facts4EU.Org has analysed the latest data from the EU Commission about Ukrainian refugees. Unfortunately it is very incomplete and unreliable, but what follows is based on our best interpretation of the EU’s current published data issued on 11 Jan 2023.

Very few EU countries have provided data on the number of Ukrainian refugees actually in their country. We have better information on the number of visa applications made, but this is also incomplete. By contrast the UK Home Office’s data is impressive. (And it’s not often that we can commend the Home Office.)

The UK’s performance versus comparable EU countries

When comparing the UK’s performance with that of EU countries it’s important to give a meaningful comparison by excluding countries on Ukraine’s doorstep, which naturally received far more applications as hundreds of thousands flooded across their land borders in 2022.

Ukraine has four land borders with the EU: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. Given the demographics of Ukraine, most Ukrainian refugees fled via the northern route: via Poland or in some cases Slovakia. This took many of them on to Germany and Czechia.

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2023, using mapchart - click to enlarge

Poland has of course shouldered the biggest burden out of all EU countries, taking in some 940,000 Ukrainian refugees. (We have this data for Poland but for few other EU countries.) Having the longest EU land border with Ukraine and a long tradition of absorbing Ukrainian migrants this is unsurprising.

The UK is of course a very long way from the Ukrainian border with the EU. Kiev is more than 2,100km from London (more than 1,500 miles). Given this information, what follows is all the more remarkable.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

Ukrainian visa applications (UK) and ‘Temporary Protection applications’ (EU)

(Excluding EU countries directly bordering Ukraine)

  • Czechia: 244,650
  • UK: 212,600
  • Germany: 188,100
  • Spain: 153,740
  • Italy: 146,380
  • Bulgaria: 144,260
  • Slovakia: 101,735
  • Netherlands: 97,995
  • Romania: 89,630
  • France: 89,030

[Sources: EU Commission and UK Home Office.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2023 - click to enlarge

The UK has granted :-

  • 38% more than Spain
  • 45% more than Italy
  • 117% more than the Netherlands
  • 2.4 times as many as France
  • 2.4 times as many as Austria
  • 3.2 times as many as Ireland
  • 3.5 times as many as Belgium (the EU’s centre)
  • 4.7 times as many as Sweden

[Note: Germany’s information is very incomplete so we have not included it in the list.]

Brexit Britain’s proud record of assisting Ukrainian refugees

During March 2022, the UK Government introduced two new visa routes to allow persons affected by the war in Ukraine to come to the UK. Introduced on 04 March 2022, the Ukraine Family Scheme allows applicants to join family members or extend their stay in the UK.

The Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme was introduced on 18 March 2022, and allows Ukrainian nationals and their family members to come to the UK if they have a named sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

Additionally, from 3 May 2022, the Ukraine Extension Scheme allows Ukrainian nationals and their immediate family members to apply for permission to stay in the UK.


Brexit Britain - a humanitarian AND a military power

Last year the media reported on the UK’s response to President Zelenskyy’s appeal for military aid – something the UK has been providing since Putin’s illegal invasion of Crimea in 2014, almost nine years ago. This contrasts strongly with the EU’s very slow response.

As 2022 went on, parts of the UK media started looking for something on which to criticise the UK and deflect attention away from the EU’s inadequacies. They chose the subject of Ukrainian refugees from the conflict, who are mostly women and children. It was suggested that somehow the UK was not playing its traditional role as a humanitarian nation.

Facts4EU’s report above proves that Brexit Britain has stood up to be counted. Not only has the UK led Europe’s military effort – as confirmed by Ukraine’s President – but it is also playing its part when it comes to providing refuge for Ukrainian families escaping the conflict.

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[ Sources: UK Home Office | EU Commission (Eurostat) ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Sat 14 Jan 2023

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