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Mortimer welcomes PM’s promise to keep EU staff in UK after Brexit

Co-convenor of the Cavendish Coalition and CEO of NHS Employers Danny Mortimer has today welcomed guarantees from the government that EU citizens will be given the right to stay in the UK after Brexit.

It comes after Theresa May, speaking to EU leaders at a summit in Brussels, said that the UK would allow European citizens arriving lawfully in the UK before Brexit to stay in the country.

May said she had offered a “fair and serious deal” that would allow EU citizens settled in the UK to stay, as long as the same right was granted to Brits living abroad.

This announcement will come as a relief to many health organisations who have previously warned of the devastating effect that a mass exodus of European staff leaving the UK could have on the health service.

This month, data collected by the Health Foundation found that EU nurses registering to work in the UK had dropped by 96% since Brexit, highlighting the importance of the government allowing EU nurses to stay after the country leaves Europe.

And now Mortimer, who is a co-convenor of the Cavendish Coalition, a group of 35 health and social care organisations working to ensure the system continues to meet its staffing needs following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, has praised the prime minister’s decision.

“We welcome the steps put forward by the prime minister, which would offer certainty to the 165,000 health and care staff who deliver vital services to communities in England,” he said.  “As the response to the terrible events in London and Manchester has shown, these colleagues, alongside others from around the world, are a vital part of our team.”

But Mortimer added that while the news was a “step in the right direction” there was still concern for the NHS if the ‘cut off point’ for entitlement to remain in the UK was set prior to the actual date of Brexit.

“This would disadvantage colleagues who have come to the UK in the last 12 months. We look forward to hearing more detail on this issue as soon as possible,” he argued.

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