Will Forster

Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking and Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Lib Dems launch campaign to give NHS heroes right to remain

by willforster on 9 September, 2020

The Lib Dems are calling on the Government to honour the contribution of foreign nationals working in the NHS and social care during the coronavirus crisis, by granting them and their families indefinite leave to remain.

Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine, who is asking the public to join her campaign, warned “if someone is prepared to risk their life for this country, they must be allowed to live in it.”

According to analysis of official statistics from the Lib Dems, there are 29,200 of foreign nationals working in the South East’s NHS Hospital and Community Health Services and a further 53,000 working in adult social care across the region.

The proposals represent a significant step beyond the Government’s current offer, announced in late March, to extend the visas of foreign NHS and care workers by one year. That is why I have written to Woking’s MP urging them to back the campaign.

Thousands of the doctors, nurses and support staff who work in the NHS and social care – the people on the frontline of this crisis – are foreign nationals. Lives would be lost at this difficult time without their contribution.

The idea that anyone who has worked so hard to save lives during this emergency might one day be forced to leave should be unthinkable. They and their families should be granted the right to settle here, without any costs or bureaucratic hurdles.

Right across the UK we have seen people’s enormous pride in the NHS and goodwill towards NHS and care staff. Now the Government has a chance to show its own support for the people’s heroes by extending the right to remain to all the foreign national NHS and care workers fighting to protect us.

If someone is prepared to risk their life for this country, they must be allowed to live in it. This is not just a gesture – it is our moral responsibility.

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