Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Christine Jardine, working with Labour MP David Lammy, has secured cross-party support for a campaign to honour the contribution of foreign nationals working in the NHS during the Covid-19 crisis, by granting them and their families indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
In a letter to the Home Secretary, a cross party group of over 60 MPs wrote to say “loudly and unequivocally, that those who have put their lives at risk for our country are welcome to live in it”.
The proposals represent a significant step beyond the Government’s current offer, announced in late March, to extend the visas of foreign NHS workers by one year. The campaign has secured support from across the political spectrum, including Labour, Conservative, SNP, Green, Alliance and the Liberal Democrats.
Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Christine Jardine said:
"Thousands of the doctors, nurses and support staff who work in our NHS – the people on the frontline of this crisis – are foreign nationals. Our beloved NHS could not function and lives would be lost at this difficult time without their contribution.
“Right across the UK we have seen people’s enormous pride in the NHS and goodwill towards NHS 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 workers fighting for our lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“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.”
Neath Labour MP Christina Rees is one of the signatories