British Politics Live: Minister Says Russian Invasion of Ukraine Should Become More Violent, with ‘Horrible’ Casualties Possible | Politics
Hello. Ben Wallacethe Secretary of Defense, was battling for the government on television and radio this morning and he had the daunting task of sorting out the political difficulties left behind by his colleagues over the weekend.
First, UK immigration policy for Ukrainians fleeing war and seeking refuge in this country. Downing Street announced a new approach last night, but when the Home Office released the fine print a little later it turned out to be very minimal. Labor called the announcement “shameful”. This morning Wallace hinted that this was only a first step and that more would be done. He told Sky News:
The first step is to ensure that Ukrainians who have family here – whether settled or bi-national – can come and join them.
But the second step that we will examine [is] about what we are doing with refugees is circulating at all levels.
In light of the reaction to last night’s announcement and developments in the EU, the government may well end up doing more. But that’s not what the Home Office was telling reporters to expect last night.
Second, government policy on Britons wanting to go to Ukraine to join the fight against the Russians. Yesterday Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, was criticized for saying she would support people who want to do so. This morning Wallace didn’t exactly disown her, but he did claim that she doesn’t advise people without military training to volunteer (Truss didn’t make that distinction in his interviews) and he said his main argument was that the war was a “just cause”. . He also said there are better ways to help Ukraine. He said:
If you want to help and you are a British citizen, come and join our armed forces…
What I would say is that unless you’re properly trained, unless you’re, you know, an experienced member of [the] armed forces, I think there are better ways for you to contribute to Ukraine’s security.
I will post more Wallace interviews shortly.
Today I will focus primarily on the UK’s reaction to the war in Ukraine, but I will also cover some non-Ukrainian policies. Here is the program for the day.
11:30 a.m.: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.
2:30 p.m.: Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, answers questions in the Commons.
After 3:30 p.m.: MPs debate Lords’ amendments to the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
4 p.m.: Neil O’Brien, the leveling minister, and Andy Haldane, the former Bank of England economist who heads the leveling task force, testify before the Commons leveling committee on the leveling white paper.
For full coverage of the war in Ukraine and a global perspective, read our separate live blog. It’s here.
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