Misinformation about visa centres was just a zany game to cheer Ukrainians up, claims Home Office

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Defending itself from accusations of incompetence and callousness, British Immigration services explained that sending exhausted refugees on a wild goose chase across northern France to non-existent visa centres was all part of a whacky Amazing Race style game.

Simon Williams, an Immigration Enforcement Officer who needs to hide his tattoos, was adamant that he and his colleagues were only trying to inject a bit of fun in a stressful situation.

“I know people think we’re rabidly xenophobic tossers because we wear black shirts and work for an outfit that sends vans around telling foreigners to go home, but we’re just big kids at heart.

“And we thought it would be hilarious to make things into an exploration adventure for those Ukrainians who want to come to Britain.

“It’s brilliant. Instead of thinking about their possibly dead relatives or hoping against hope for a safe place where they can finally rest, Ukrainians got to go to Calais and find that English-only A4 paper pinned outside the town hall telling them to go to Arras on the Eurostar.

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“The joke is that the Eurostar doesn’t stop in Calais. Once in Arras, they get to loaf around until some kind passerby tells them there has never been any consular presence there.

“But wait! A senior minister on BBC radio just blurted out they had to go to Lille! So off they run to the train station, thanking the French for that free train travel, and see if they can make it to Lille before we have to confess we set up fuck-all there either.

“And now they have to decide between Paris or Brussels. Choose carefully, traveller!”