The SNP has called on the UK government to provide urgent assistance for citizens overseas who are unable to travel home due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Stewart McDonald MP has signed a letter to the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, calling for a programme of evacuation flights to help the many thousands of people who are stuck abroad in stressful situations.
Mr McDonald has also criticised airlines which are inflating the cost of the few remaining flight routes.
The letter on behalf of the SNP Westminster Group said MPs are hearing from constituents in dire situations. It said that given the ongoing context and crisis, it is now necessary and right for the Foreign Office to fully step in and implement a programme of repatriation, and that this can be done by rolling out a programme of evacuation flights using the furloughed commercial aircraft and volunteer pilots and crew.
Stewart McDonald MP said:
"Since the initial stages of the Covid-19 crisis, our constituency offices have been inundated with requests for help from citizens who find themselves abroad at this time. Their circumstances may be different, but their plight is the same - they currently have no way to return home.
"These are people who have found themselves stranded abroad through no fault of their own. In many cases we are hearing from constituents who have run out of money, run out of medicine or people who are naturally desperate to return home to care for their families in Scotland during this time of crisis. The situation is not helped by irresponsible airlines which are choosing to over-inflate the prices for the few remaining flight routes.
"I fully appreciate and understand the complexity of the situations, however we simply don’t know when this crisis will end, so asking these people to wait this crisis out is not acceptable.
"The UK government must take action urgently, they cannot leave our citizens stranded."