UK refugee scheme 'designed to fail'
Homes For Ukraine whistleblower says confused staff is ‘making up responses' to applications, and visas are withheld in order to limit the number of people entering the country.
A whistleblower working on the UK's Homes For Ukraine scheme has revealed as cited by The Guardian that he and his colleagues "don't know what we're doing," and that the scheme was "designed to fail" in order to limit the number of people entering the country.
In the midst of criticism over the number of Ukrainians allowed to enter the UK thus far, an insider revealed that confusion, low morale, and a lack of guidance meant that staff contracted to the scheme frequently "made up" their responses to cases.
Staff working on the scheme's helpline revealed that they only received three hours of training with no follow-up assistance and that any complaint or suggestion to improve the system was met with silence.
“We don’t really know what we’re doing,” said the source, who works for the private company responsible for processing the documentation of Ukrainian refugees as quoted by The Guardian.
“The system is designed, it would appear, for people to fail. They want to keep the numbers down. Everything they do feels as if it is to do that. I’ve even had a barrister and lawyers on the phone saying they couldn’t understand the system,” he added.
The whistleblower questioned official government data on Ukrainian refugees, claiming that the figures gave the impression that ministers were being more generous than they actually were.
According to the most recent government figures, 40,000 UK visas have been issued under the Homes For Ukraine scheme since its inception five weeks ago – but only 6,600 Ukrainians have arrived.
Read More: Refugees, exhausted by 'hunger and homelessness', in UK to return to Ukraine
The scheme's helpline is intended to guide applicants through the sponsor process and assist them in entering the data required for a successful outcome. The government, however, has the final say on who receives a visa and is allowed to enter the UK.
According to a government spokesperson, when combined with the Ukraine Family Scheme, 71,800 visas were granted, with 21,600 Ukrainians arriving in the UK.
Read more: UK fails its ‘grand statements’ on Ukraine refugees: Macron
Earlier, two Ukrainian citizens who left their country after the war in Ukraine were denied entry into the United Kingdom although the UK government had said that people settled in the country would be able to bring their Ukrainian immediate family members free of charge, according to The Guardian.