Boris Johnson – 2022 Comments on Delays in Visas to Fleeing Ukrainians

The comments made by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, at the Liaison Select Committee held on 30 March 2022.

We are getting, already, sizeable numbers and I think that that is a good thing. Don’t forget: most Ukrainians want to be in the region. In an ideal world, they would like to go back to their homes. A lot of them, increasingly, now want to come to other European countries.

They want to come to the UK, and that is quite right. We are opening our doors and opening our homes. The numbers are going up quite steeply now and I think they will continue to rise for a while to come. I think that is going to be a great thing. This country has a very proud record of welcoming evacuees.

I do not want pointlessly to berate officialdom and blame people for being slow—that is too easy. We ask a lot of our officials and public servants. They have to balance some quite difficult objectives. We have just been hearing some really good questions about modern slavery, sexual trafficking, children, and about gangsters who might be trading in evacuees. You’ve got to be careful. Do not forget that the point I made on the first day in the House is that there will also be people coming from that war zone who may not be entirely who they say they are. We have had some cases, sadly, of that already.