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Boris Johnson is breaking promises to EU citizens. Already

by Steve Beasant on 15 August, 2019

Plans to charge EU citizens for use of the NHS have been circulated to hospital staff. It’s a flagrant breach of the PM’s pledge to protect their rights and the Liberal Democrats demand better.

The following article was written by Sir Ed Davey MP, and published yesterday on the Lib Dem website.

A nurse talking to a woman and child.

I can think of about 350 million reasons why a promise from Boris Johnson isn’t worth the paper (or bus) it’s written on.

The Government promised that the rights of EU citizens wouldn’t change after Brexit. So did Vote Leave – many of whose senior figures are now Government officials.

But now we’re hearing that if Brexit happens, the Government plans to make EU citizens pay to use the NHS.

Yet another Johnson promise broken. I’m angry and disappointed, but I can’t say I’m surprised.

The Government says that EU citizens have until the end of next year to register for settled status. But now we discover Boris Johnson wants to subject them to the Tory hostile environment policy from November.

It’s a disgrace. EU citizens are vital to our NHS – both via their contributions via tax and as doctors, nurses and support staff. Brexit would be a disaster for our NHS.

Liberal Democrats demand better. We’re already leading the fight to stop Brexit and save free movement. But while the threat of Brexit still looms, we’ve tabled a bill. If passed, it’ll grant full rights to all EU citizens in the UK.

If Boris Johnson is actually serious about keeping this promise, he’ll pass it as a matter of urgency. Over three million people from other EU countries call the UK their home. They contribute to our economy and to our communities. They deserve better, and the Liberal Democrats will not stop fighting for them.

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