BAFTA 2022 Film Awards: Andy Serkis expertly tears up Priti Patel’s visa rules for Ukrainian refugees and UK’s ‘hostile’ immigration policy while performing on stage
- Unlike the EU – which allows Ukrainians to reside for three years without a visa – the UK has maintained entry checks, saying they are essential for security
- Priti Patel announced on Wednesday that Ukrainians with passports will no longer have to attend an in-person appointment at a visa application center
- This only applies to Ukrainians applying to come to the UK who already have family living in the country, and therefore fall under the “reunion” scheme.
The UK has been criticized for taking in only around 1,000 Ukrainian refugees so far as people flee as their homeland is overrun by Russian troops.
And at Sunday night’s BAFTA 2022 Film Awards, Andy Serkis, 57, deftly tore up Home Secretary Priti Patel’s visa rules and UK immigration policy, while presenting Best Director at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The Lord of the Rings star called the Tory MP’s handling of visa applications a “complete nightmare” while saying that in general she has created a “hostile environment” for asylum seekers.
‘Nightmare’! At Sunday night’s BAFTA 2022 Film Awards, Andy Serkis, 57, tore up Home Secretary Priti Patel’s visa rules for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion
Stepping onto the stage, Andy said, “A world-class director is a visionary empowered to change the world with a story they yearn to tell.
“Bringing together and leading a large family of extremely talented strangers on a difficult and chaotic journey
“While hopefully creating an atmosphere that inspires, is inclusive and equally values each member of this family
“So it’s no surprise that Priti Patel on her feature debut, Hostile Environment, ran into huge problems.
“And that his follow-up film – All Refugees Welcome But Some Are More Welcome Than Others – is a complete nightmare.”
‘Hostile!’ He called the Tory MP’s handling of visa applications a “complete nightmare” while saying that in general she has created a “hostile environment” for asylum seekers.
Unlike the European Union – which allows Ukrainians to reside for three years without a visa – the UK has maintained entry checks, saying they are essential for security.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson defended the nations’ response to the crisis and said an upcoming scheme will allow Britons to take citizens of the war-torn country home.
The scheme will allow Britons to place people fleeing war in a guest room, or perhaps give them a job. However, it is expected that anyone offering to host a Ukrainian refugee will have to pass the Disclosure and Barring Service checks, which will further slow down the process.
Dozens of Ukrainian families have been turned back to Calais with only 760 people having obtained visas under the Interior Ministry’s family support program despite tens of thousands of applications.
Following mounting criticism, Priti Patel announced major changes to the visa regime on Thursday – but charities said they had not gone far enough.
While on the BAFTA red carpet earlier in the evening, Andy Serkis insisted that “The arts hold humanity together.”
Reflecting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he told the PA news agency: “It’s a difficult situation to have a celebration like this when such terrible and horrible things are happening not far away. from here.”
“But I think it’s also important that the arts are celebrated because the arts hold humanity together, and in fact the freedom of expression and the power of storytelling is something that I think Ukrainians would totally applaud. .
“So if we’re holding them back tonight and reflecting the fun and the passion back to them, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”
He added: “It’s really important to remember what’s happening in the context of an event like this.”
“But like I said, what it represents is so positive, because it’s about inclusion, because in fact the Bafta have really, really moved, in recent years, towards inclusion.”