Following the Taliban takeover, it is hoped and expected that the UK will give refuge to tens of thousands of Afghans. Women and children in particular, whose rights are feared to be in severe peril under the new Taliban regime, are expected to be given special priority.
A Resettlement Scheme is expected to be modelled on the one which allowed more than 20,000 Syrians to flee to this country during the last seven years.
The Foreign Secretary confirmed that Boris Johnson would announce the details in due course. Mr Raab also went on to confirm that our aid budget will be increased for development and humanitarian purposes trying to make sure that it won’t go through the Taliban, but to try to alleviate the humanitarian suffering.
Providing whatever support we can to the Afghan people who have worked very hard to make their country a better place over the last 20 years but are now in need of our help. It is obvious that not one country is capable of dealing with this alone and discussions with world leaders on how to take a unified approach is to take place urgently.
Mr Raab and Priti Patel are thought to be finalising details of the scheme before passing them to Mr Johnson. Emergency Cobra meetings have been taking place over the last few days and Mr Johnson is seeking to host a virtual meeting of G7 leaders as soon as possible. Mr Johnson is to update our Parliament when MPs are recalled early from their summer break to debate the crisis.
The UK team in Afghanistan are working around the clock in these incredibly difficult circumstances to help British nationals and as many others as can be got to safety as soon as possible.
Damian Green, former Conservative immigration minister has called on the government to help any Afghan with a legitimate claim. “There are times and places where we should be strict with asylum applications, but Afghanistan today is the exact opposite. We should be prepared to take anyone who can make a case”.
Tobias Ellwood, chairman of the Commons defence committee and former British Army captain, says that “All Nato countries who participated in Afghanistan need to work together to coordinate efforts in order to facilitate the arrival of what will be hundreds of thousands of families fleeing the country”.
This current situation is described as a ‘terrible failure of Western strategy’ not just a ‘humanitarian crisis but no doubt in time a counter-terrorism crisis for the West’.
Stephen Kinnock, Shadow Foreign Office Minister, warned that the intake needs to be a bold, ambitious and generous offer. When asked if 20,000 people would be about right he said: “We need to see an offer that is also backed by the capacity to process it. The situation on the ground there is so difficult at the moment that we have got to ensure we don’t open up an offer that we can’t actually deliver on”.
British legal bodies have called for female Afghan judges and lawyers to be given priority, among concern over their safety under Taliban rule.
The Bar Council and the Law Society said in a joint statement they were ‘gravely concerned’ about the ‘perilous future’ they were facing under the Taliban.