EXCLUSIVE: Majority of voters support waiving visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees, poll finds

The poll, carried out by Savanta ComRes, found that 60% of voters would support the UK not requiring a visa for Ukrainian refugees to resettle in the UK, whereas just 15% would oppose such a move.

Refugees

A majority of voters support waiving visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees, an exclusive poll for LFF has found.

The poll, carried out by Savanta ComRes, found that 60% of voters would support the UK not requiring a visa for Ukrainian refugees to resettle in the UK, whereas just 15% would oppose such a move.

The latest findings come as the Home Office faces growing pressure to take in a greater number of Ukrainian refugees. Home Office sources had confirmed that the UK had approved visas for just 50 Ukrainian refugees. However, it later confirmed that the number had risen to 300 from 8,900 submitted applications.

The latest figures were still slammed as an ‘embarrassment’, including by the mayor of London Sadiq Khan. There are around 1.7 million Ukrainian refugees currently seeking asylum.

Some applicants have said that it is proving hard to complete applications because the visa appointment website crashed midway through.

The Home Office has also sparked anger after announcing it will set up a “pop-up” visa application centre for Ukrainian refugees in Lille – around 70 miles from Calais. Under the current rules, only those Ukrainians with close family already in Britain or those able to obtain sponsorship by a third party are allowed to enter the country.

The BBC has also reported that almost 600 Ukrainian refugees are currently waiting in Calais for visas to come to the UK, with Conservative MPs also criticising the government’s slow response.

Our polling found that there was support for the UK not requiring a visa for Ukrainian refugees to resettle in the country across all major political parties, with 59% of Conservative voters supporting the measures along with 72% of Labour party voters and 71% of Lib Dem voters.

When broken down by age, 54% of 18-24 year olds supported the UK government waiving visas for Ukrainian refugees as did 64% of 25-34 year olds, the highest of any age demographic.

Calls have been growing for the government to waive visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees, with a petition on the proposal gaining almost 150,000 signatures.

Minnie Rahman, campaigns director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants told LFF: “What’s happening right now shows us what it means to flee. People don’t have time to wait around in queues that don’t exist – they have to pack their bags and run, to find safety for themselves and their families.

“As the public clearly recognises, this government should be doing all they can to ensure safe travel and protection for families fleeing, but instead we’re seeing the same cruel and ineffective asylum policies bar refugees from reaching loved ones. Refugees need safe, accessible routes here, now – not more empty promises, bureaucratic limbo, and a new Borders Bill which seeks to criminalise them. “

Former Tory Nick Boles tweeted: “Boris Johnson is refusing to waive visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees because he is desperate to hang on to the support of right wing Conservative MPs like Edward Leigh.”

The question asked the following: To what extent would you support or oppose the UK not requiring a visa for Ukrainian refugees to resettle in the UK?

Representative poll of 2222 GB adults. Prepared by Savanta: ComRes

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

Comments are closed.