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BMA Responds To Home Affairs Committee Delivery Of Brexit Report On Immigration

Responding to a report published by the Home Affairs Committee on the delivery of Brexit and immigration, Dr Andrew Dearden, BMA treasurer, said:

“This report throws serious doubt on the government’s ability to plan and deliver the proposed Brexit changes to immigration services. The EU referendum was well over 18 months ago now and too many questions remain unanswered. It is especially concerning that the Immigration White Paper has yet again been delayed.

“Despite some reassurance provided in the first phase of negotiations, there is still continued uncertainty over the status of EU nationals. Our own research has shown that many EU doctors are either considering or actively planning to leave the UK because of anxiety around Brexit, which is a cause for real concern. Many have dedicated years of service to the NHS and medical research in the UK, and without them our health service will not be able to cope.

“We urgently need further clarity from the government on exactly what the future holds for EU citizens and their families living in the UK, as well as for those who arrive during the transitional period, to end the uncertainty and insecurity that could see many voting with their feet.

“It’s also vital that any future immigration system is flexible enough to ensure the NHS can recruit and retain doctors and other NHS workers in sufficient numbers but equally and fundamentally that the Home Office has the capacity to deliver it. Our NHS and patient care are all the richer for having a diverse workforce – it’s crucial we don’t lose valuable experience and expertise because of Brexit”

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