UK will take 5,000 Afghan refugees this year: Boris Johnson
- It’d be a mistake for any country to recognise any new regime in Kabul, Boris Johnson said
- The current refugee plan was scrutinised by lawmakers
- Johnson said events in Afghanistan have "unfolded faster than even the Taliban predicted"
The British government, on Wednesday, said that it would take in 5,000 Afghan refugees this year, primarily women and children. This announcement was made in a packed Parliament that saw a heating emergency discussion on the UK response to the Taliban's seizure of power in Afghanistan.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a new generous refugee settlement program would allow up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghans to seek safe haven in the UK in the coming years.
Johnson said the UK will work to bring together the international community behind a "clear plan for dealing with the Taliban."
"We are clear, and we have agreed that it’d be a mistake for any country to recognise any new regime in Kabul prematurely or bilaterally," Johnson said.
"We will judge this regime on the choices it makes and by its actions rather than its words," he added.
The refugee plan was scrutinised by lawmakers. They said it fell short of what was required, both in terms of speed and numbers.
"The government has said 5,000 will be brought to resettle in the UK this year," Chris Bryant, a parliament member from the main opposition Labour Party, said.
"What are the other 15,000 meant to do? Hang around and wait to be executed?" he added.
Johnson said British officials were doing all they can to evacuate UK and Afghan citizens who had given their services to the British forces based in Afghanistan.
"The situation has stabilized since the weekend, but it remains precarious, and the UK officials on the ground are doing everything that they can to expedite the movement of people," Johnson said.
"At the moment, it would be fair to say that the Taliban are allowing that evacuation to go ahead," he added.
Johnson told Parliament that events in Afghanistan have "unfolded faster than even the Taliban predicted".
Currently, Johnson is under fire over Britain's swift retreat from Afghanistan and its chaotic evacuation of British citizens who resided in Afghanistan for years.