UK considering a resettlement programme for Afghans: Dominic Raab

WION Web Team
London, United KingdomUpdated: Aug 17, 2021, 11:09 PM IST

Dominic Raab has resigned as the UK’s deputy prime minister and as justice secretary after an official report on allegations that he bullied civil servants Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

The fall of Afghanistan, according to former Conservative minister for defence, Tobias Ellwood, will spark mass migration on a scale never seen since the end of World War II

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the government is considering a "bespoke arrangement" for Afghan refugees that will be announced soon.

New resettlement schemes will focus on making the UK more accessible to those most in need, such as women and girls. While Raab did not confirm how many refugees would be admitted, he called the UK 'an open-hearted nation'.

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Speaking to BBC, Raab stated that the UK has had always been a country in which people fleeing persecution could find refuge. He added that the prime minister and the home secretary would announce the details of the new resettlement program in due course.

On Wednesday, the British Parliament will return from its summer recess to debate the war in Afghanistan.

According to former Conservative minister for defence, Tobias Ellwood the fall of Afghanistan will spur a mass migration on a scale not seen since the end of World War II.

New resettlement programme is likely to follow a similar model to the one used for Syrian refugees, which since its launch in 2014, has resettled around 20,000 refugees from Syria in the UK.

Over 3,300 Afghan interpreters, staff and their families have already been accepted into the UK for resettlement, the Home Office reported on Monday. According to them, the decision on how many Afghan refugees to accept would be based on the capacity of local authorities.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced Monday that an additional 200 British troops would deploy to Kabul to assist in evacuating British citizens and Afghan citizens eligible for resettlement in the UK.

In addition, MoD officials say more troops will be deployed to nations in the region and ready to go to Afghanistan if necessary, and additional troops will be kept on standby in the UK.

Most Afghans who qualify for relocation to the UK previously worked in frontline military roles for the British government. 

In addition to interpreters and cultural advisers, embassy staff are also involved in this group. Ministry of Defence also considers those that are at high or imminent risk eligible.

As many as 350 more British nationals and Afghan employees are expected to leave the country in the next 24 hours - and if the situation settles, the number could increase "quite significantly."