UK Foreign Office washing its hands over Brit expats trapped overseas

Published:  27 Mar at 6 PM
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As country after country closes its borders and bans new arrivals, an increasing number of British expats and tourists find themselves stranded overseas and running out of funds.

One MP and former Conservative cabinet member is now claiming British expats and tourists are now trapped by lockdowns in many world countries, unable to stay, unable to leave and desperately needing state aid in order to return home. MP Caroline Noakes was scathing about British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab’s message to stranded Brits urging them to come back, calling his comment ‘empty words’ aimed at the many thousands of trapped British citizens.

During a heated session in the House of Commons, Raab defended consular efforts to get British citizens back home only to be sidelined by Noakes’s reply that many of her constituents have reported it’s impossible to speak with embassy staff by phone, with email enquiries being met by standard replies advising contacting either tour operators or insurers for assistance. Many of those stranded, she said, are now hundreds of miles from airports or sea crossings, with hotel accommodation either locked down or already full.

Telling it like it is, the MP said commercial flights to the UK are now either unavailable, price-gouged up to tens of thousands of pounds or routed via airports expected to be closed down without prior notice. There are, she said, no routes home and airlines are being parked up at airports. In reply, the Foreign Secretary revealed that talks are taking place in order to repatriate British citizens trapped in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Peru, but no mention was made of those stuck in lockdowns and running out of funds in Europe, Asia and other parts of the planet.
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