Since the Brexit judgment in June 2016, the number of nurses coming from other EU countries to the UK decreased by 90%. The British Medical Association (BMA) showed nothing positive about its now-coming Brexit at its general meeting last week, which is due to take place in about nine months.
According to figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), there are currently around 35,000 EU nurses registered in the NHS. “The number is decreasing, and we know that there are hundreds of vacancies today,” it says. “If the Brexit becomes a reality in March 2019, it will all be much worse.”
At the general meeting of the BMA, the doctors supported a proposal for a new referendum on the Brexit. “It is sad that the government of Theresa May is unprepared and unaware of the impact of Brexit on our health care and health,” said Dr William Sapwell, who had submitted the adopted proposal.
It was striking how the medical public applauded vigorously in similar anti-Brexit statements. Incidentally, the British Health Minister Jeremy Hunt recently claimed several times that after the Brexit EU doctors and nurses had to receive “hard-hitting guarantees for their permanent residence and work permits.”
But Prime Minister May stubbornly refuses to give concrete future guarantees to health professionals from the EU because she is afraid of an uprising in her party.
That the BMA, as the largest and most influential professional medical organisation in the United Kingdom, is calling out publicly for a dramatic reversal of that Brexit strategy and the related referendum, according to observers, shows how poisonous the climate is in the UK.
Even before the referendum in June 2016, the BMA warned publicly and forcefully for the consequences of the Brexit for the NHS. But these warnings were always rejected by EU opponents as “panic football”.
A recent poll would show that 92% of foreigners in the EU in Britain feel insecure about their future. One in two EU citizens would think about a departure from the country, according to interest group “the 3 million”. It defends the rights of around 3.6 million in the UK living and working EU foreigners.