I have been contacted by constituents recently regarding the Immigration Bill and concerns that it may affect staff numbers in the NHS and care sector.
Our doctors, nurses and care staff work incredibly hard and I understand the concerns that have been raised. For those staff from the EU, the Government has committed repeatedly that they will be able to remain in the country with the same rights as they enjoy today. EU citizens are an important part of the economic, cultural and social fabric of our country and a new settled status scheme under UK law has been introduced for EU citizens and their family members, covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. This will ensure that EU nationals can continue to perform their vital roles across a range of sectors, in particular health and care.
However, as we leave the EU, it is essential that going forward we have a strategy for immigration that suits the UK's needs and ensures we continue to have an open, dynamic economy and a world-class health service staffed by dedicated professionals. The Home Secretary published the Government's plan for the UK's future immigration system in December last year, confirming that there would be a single, skills-based immigration system covering all nationalities equally. I attach a letter from the Home Secretary which provides more details.
The publication of this plan followed a report from the Migration Advisory Committee, which the Home Secretary had commissioned to report on the impact of EEA migration on the UK. Their findings and recommendations are the starting point of a national debate on a future immigration system, with the Government launching a year-long programme of engagement across the UK to ensure that a wide range of views are heard.
It is crucial that we have a migration policy that is right for the UK, including the NHS, and I can assure you that the Government is looking extensively at how to ensure this policy delivers and continues to be open to proposals.
|Immigration White Paper DC Letter.pdf||376.38 KB|