Britain may ease immigration rules for Ukrainian refugees: Report

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British interior minister Priti Patel wants to set up a new scheme to allow more refugees fleeing conflict in Ukraine to come to Britain, The Sun newspaper reported on Monday.

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Following Russia’s invasion, Ukrainians have poured into Poland, Romania, Slovakia and elsewhere. The United Nations said over 1.5 million had fled in Europe’s fastest growing refugee crisis since World War Two.

Britain has already announced visa schemes for those who have family in the country or a willing sponsor, but the government has been criticized by opposition lawmakers for not doing enough to help compared with its European neighbors.

“I’m urgently escalating our response to the growing humanitarian crisis,” Patel told The Sun, citing her own experience visiting the Polish border last week.

“I am now investigating the legal options to create a humanitarian route. This means anyone without ties to the UK fleeing the conflict in Ukraine will have a right to come to this nation.”

The European Union has agreed to grant temporary residency to Ukrainians fleeing the invasion and give them access to employment, social welfare and housing for up to three years.

France and Britain engaged in a diplomatic spat on Sunday over the treatment of Ukrainian refugees stuck in the French port of Calais.

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