THE UK Government is facing fresh criticism over its chaotic response to the Ukrainian reufgee crisis after “berating” Ireland for its open door policy.

Having been accused of a “lack of humanity” by French officials, Priti Patel and Boris Johnson publicly contradicted each other over their immigration plans on Monday as opposition MPs and charities pleaded with the Government to accept more refugees.

The Home Office disclosed on Monday night that just 300 visas have been issued out of a total of 17,700 family scheme applications that have been started, 8900 of which have been submitted.

According to reports, some Ukrainians have been turned away at the UK border when arriving in Calais, France. Pictures also emerged on Twitter of signs, apparently in northern France, saying UK visas will not be provided there and advising people to apply online or travel to Paris or Brussels to make an application.

Ireland, meanwhile, announced it is set to take in more than 100,000 Ukrainians fleeing conflict. It has joined the EU scheme that allows people to settle without a visa for three years.

Leaders in Dublin were widely lauded for the move, but a UK Government chief tried to justify their stricter measures by suggesting the Irish government could be endangering Britain.

A Whitehall source told the Telegraph: “Ireland has basically opened the door to everyone in Ukraine, which creates a problem due to the Common Travel Area.

“We've seen before with migrants from Albania that they have come through Dublin, into Belfast and across to the mainland to Liverpool. That's created a drug cartel route."

They added: “It's the Home Office that will get the blame if in three or five years’ time [if] there are problems with those who come. That’s why the security checks have to be done carefully now.”

Patel has previously been accused of parroting Donald Trump by claiming Ukrainian refugees have been infiltrated by Russian operatives and terrorist organisations.

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Responding to the Telegraph report, SNP MP Pete Wishart commented: “So the UK berating countries doing their bit to help with the refugee crisis because they don’t want people to come here.”

His colleague Carol Monaghan added: “So UK ministers don’t just abandon Ukrainian refugees, they also complain when neighbouring countries offer them refuge.

“To be clear, the refugees fleeing Putin’s bombardment are not a security risk. The Russian money behind UK ministers most definitely is.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says UK policy on Ukrainian refugees is 'unconscionable'

That backlash followed hot on the heels of criticism of the Home Office for announcing its Ukraine Family Scheme – “the first visa scheme in the world to launch since President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine”.

“It gives Ukrainian people the freedom and means to support themselves while they are here in the United Kingdom,” the Home Office announced, adding: “That includes immigration security, the right to work and free access to healthcare, education and housing.”

That statement was branded “appalling” by Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson.

He replied: “The whole of the European Union has waived visa requirements for Ukrainian refugees. Meanwhile the UK is proud to have launched the first visa scheme in the world which restricts and delays sanctuary for Ukrainians. Cynical. Shaming. Appalling.”

Labour said the numbers being admitted are “shockingly low”, while senior Tory MP Simon Hoare said it is “simply not good enough”.

“The Home Office needs to move today from pettifogging process to active delivery. Stop ‘computer says no’ mindset and get on and help,” he tweeted.

Earlier, Downing Street dismissed suggestions that Patel is examining “legal options” to create a “humanitarian route” – which would offer all Ukrainian refugees the right to come to the UK regardless of whether they have family ties here. A spokesman later said this was in fact referring to Government schemes which have already been announced.

The Prime Minister said the Government will not introduce a system whereby Ukrainian refugees can come to the UK “without any checks or any controls at all”.

Responding to reports of chaos at immigration centres in France due to a lack of staff, Patel insisted there are British officials in Calais, telling the Commons: “It is absolutely right that we’ve already had people in Calais,” adding: “It is wrong to say we’re just turning people back – we’re absolutely not, we’re supporting those that have been coming to Calais.”

The Home Office added: “Staff have been surged across Europe and within the UK to ensure applications can be processed as quickly as possible, while maintaining essential security checks.”

The row comes as Johnson hosts leaders of the Visegrad Four central European nations – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic – who have seen some of the heaviest influxes of refugees.

Steve Valdez-Symonds, from Amnesty International UK, said “history is repeating itself” in light of the “botched” response to last year’s crisis in Afghanistan, adding that the Home Office was “once again too slow and too bureaucratic in response to a refugee crisis that almost everyone saw coming”.

With 1.7 million people having fled the war so far, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace acknowledged that the Government needs to move quicker and said he is offering Ministry of Defence (MoD) support to speed up the work.

“The first and foremost duty for all of us is to make sure that people get to safety,” he told Sky News. “Once they’ve got to safety, making sure we just check their identity before they come to this country – it is incredibly important that we do that.

“It shouldn’t take time. And I’ve offered, I will be offering, to the Home Office assistance from the MoD in the same way we did in Op Pitting (the evacuation of Afghanistan) to increase the processing time to help those people.”

He added: “Of course, we can do that quicker, we are leaning into that, the Home Secretary is determined to do that quicker, I will give her all the support I can.”

Wallace was also critical of reports that hundreds of Ukrainians who have reached Calais have been told they need to travel back to Paris or Brussels to apply for a visa where they face a lengthy wait.

“It’s difficult for those people – why wouldn’t it be? – to go all the way back to Paris,” he told BBC Breakfast. “We can do more, we will do more.”

“It’s not the case that we are only allowing 300 people in; it is the case that the system has not been quick enough, which is what we’re going to address.”