Is Britain regarded as the most heartless nation in the Western world?

The Westminster Government is doing little to prevent the United Kingdom from being regarded internationally as one of the most heartless nations in the Western world.

We were slow to open our doors to Ukrainians following the Russian invasion – while the UK is still the only European country that requires those fleeing the war to obtain a visa before arriving.

This week, home secretary Priti Patel and Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed they would do anything to plough ahead with a controversial scheme that would send refugees who arrive illegally into the UK to Rwanda for processing and resettlement – despite the European Court of Human Rights stepping in at the last minute to have those due to be deported removed from the plane minutes before take off on Tuesday.

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Rwanda flight: UK Government plan to send near-empty flight is clear message to ...
A man stands on the steps of the grounded Rwanda deportation flight EC-LZO Boeing 767 at Boscombe Down Air Base. The flight taking asylum seekers from the UK to Rwanda was grounded at the last minute after intervention of the European Court of Human Rights. Picture: Getty Images

Closer to home, politicians have been accused of lacking sensitivity in its planned changes to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which critics have warned effectively creates a border across the Irish Sea.

Meanwhile, security guards who worked through a contractor for the British Embassy in Kabul have reported beatings by the Taliban, due to their connections with the UK Government. British and US forces moved out of the country last summer, resulting in an almost immediate takeover by the Taliban. The Home Office has responded by explaining the men can apply for asylum in the UK from June 20, when the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme opens.

If they had been employed directly by the embassy, they would have been eligible for a different scheme that would have allowed them to leave the country sooner.

The lack of empathy is not confined to the current iteration of the Government. It was five years ago, under Theresa May’s leadership, when I saw a letter sent from the Home Office to a woman who had applied for a visa to stay in Scotland with her Scottish husband. Her visa was refused as they saw no reason why he could not continue a relationship with his Scotland-based primary school-aged offspring online if he instead moved to Canada.

As the incidents have stacked up, human rights groups, refugee charities and individuals have expressed growing horror at the Government’s apparent lack of compassion.

What is clear, however, is that neither Mr Johnson – nor Ms Patel – seem to care.

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