Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said checks for Ukrainians fleeing to the UK could take “just hours” as the Labour Party has proposed only checking for security measures. Ms Cooper said: “So we described a kind of emergency visa, which is effectively just the security checks. That’s what we need to do. You don’t need a lot of this additional fees or requirements, for example, to come on the homes for Ukraine scheme, Ukrainian families are supposed to prove their residence as to where they were living before the first of January.
“So people are uploading utility bills or other kinds of details that then has to be checked by caseworkers that then adds to delays.
“The point about security checks is ministers and officials have themselves admitted you can do them on the spot. You can do them within a matter of hours, so there’s absolutely no excuse for these weeks of delays.”
Mr Phillips interjected: “To be clear, an emergency visa is still a visa but you would only apply one test which you think could be passed within hours about whether is somebody a security risk or not.
“Do you really believe that? How would you know, somebody says, ‘I’m not Russian’. How would we know that within hours.”
READ MORE: Britons in crisis! Sunak skewered over tax raid
The Labour MP continued: “These are standard security checks which we already do.
“Standard checks with passports and so on and ministers and officials have said that security checks can be done online.
“They said these security can either be done on the spot. You’re effectively checking someone against a database of wanted criminals.”
It comes as the UK’s Ukrainian visa scheme is “unwelcoming” and adding to refugees’ trauma, a crossbench peer offering her home to a fleeing family has said.
The father of the family is a doctor in Ukraine, she said, who had worked with her husband and remains in Kyiv – they have also submitted an application for him in the event he also leaves Ukraine due to injury or other reasons.
“He’s decided to stay to serve his country and he’s basically entrusted his wife and two children to us,” Baroness Finlay added.
“We’ve said we will do whatever is needed for however long to support them, and we know that it might be years.”
Baroness Finlay said they had to process each of the four refugees’ applications individually, which has made her concerned they may not be approved together.