Varadkar says Ireland needs to 'slow the flow' of Ukrainian refugees

Varadkar Says Ireland Needs To 'Slow The Flow' Of Ukrainian Refugees
The Taoiseach said economic migration numbers are already controlled by work permits and visas. Photo: PA
Share this article
Kenneth Fox

Ireland "needs to slow the flow" of Ukrainian refugees and reform its offering to others seeking asylum, the Taoiseach has said.

Speaking on Sunday afternoon, Leo Varadkar said that Ireland's offering to incoming Ukrainian and other refugees would have to change because it was not feasible to continue to take in people with no limits.


As the Irish Examiner reports, Varadkar told RTÉ's The Week in Politics. "Migration is a good thing for Ireland."

He said economic migration numbers are already controlled by work permits and visas.

"When it comes to irregular migration, that's people coming from Ukraine or people seeking international protection, I think one of the things we have to do when we have to be honest with each other about this, is to make sure that what we offer — in terms of accommodation, in terms of work, in terms of money — is similar to what's offered in other EU countries.

He said "even countries with hard-right governments and anti-immigration governments" haven't stopped irregular migration, but that airport border controls needed to be improved.


"We're doing that. I got off a flight from Helsinki two weeks ago and it was great to see people not getting the opportunity to destroy documents."

However, he added, the country needed to "align with" what is provided by other countries due to the numbers coming from other EU countries and the UK.

"There are a lot of people who may have left their home country a number of years ago or a number of months ago, maybe they weren't safe in those countries, but they actually have spent months or even years in the UK or France before coming here. That's what's called secondary movements. You shouldn't be encouraging them."

He was speaking as the European Commission published statistics showing that the rate of increase of Ukrainians arriving in Ireland over the past year was 10 times higher than the average increase in numbers fleeing to the EU from the war in Ukraine over the same period.

There has been a 72.1 per cent increase in the number of Ukrainians seeking international protection in the Republic in the 12 months to the end of September 2023.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by