BEN WALLACE: WE WILL DO OUR BEST TO GET EVERYONE OUT
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told BBC Breakfast: “Myself and the Home Secretary have been working very hard to remove any other barriers, bureaucratic barriers that did stand in the way, such as the requirement to (have) Afghan passports, to make sure that if our people had passed our tests and our screening those Afghans can come in.
“We’re working to remove them literally as we speak, I spoke to her late last night and I’ll speak to the Home Secretary later today to make sure that we can speed that up. We all recognise, we all see what we’re seeing on telly, time is of the essence, every hour counts.
“Our flights, our planning and coming in and out and soon if we manage to keep it in the way we’re planning to we should have capacity for over 1,000 people a day to exit to the UK. Currently this is not about capacity on planes, it’s about processing speed, so that’s why we’re trying to fix that.”
He added: “Our timescale which we’d originally planned which was August 31, will be out. We will try our very best to get everyone out, it’s one of the biggest regrets of the speed of the collapse of the Afghan government is that those timetables will no doubt have to be shortened and that’s what we’re moving extra assets to do…
“If we can manage to keep the airport running in the way we are putting in place our people to deliver then I’m confident that by the end of the month we could get everyone out and actually hopefully sooner. There will be some people left behind, we made that clear in the last few weeks, I’m not going to raise expectations.”