Lib Dems have vowed to fight for healthcare workers’ rights after a Bill to give them the indefinite leave to remain was effectively axed by the Tory government.
Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine tabled the Immigration (Health and Social Care Staff) Bill 2019-21, which was due for its second reading on Friday.
But the Government have decided to axe all sitting Fridays until the end of March, meaning dozens of Private Members Bills will effectively be killed off.
Ms Jardine’s Bill proposed that all health and social care staff from outside the EU would be granted indefinite leave to remain, giving the peace of mind about their immigration status and granting them rights enjoyed by British citizens.
Christine Jardine said:
“Like the rest of our wonderful NHS and care staff, hundreds of thousands of people from other countries are on the frontlines of the Covid pandemic, putting themselves in harm’s way to make sure we get the care we need.
“The UK should say, loudly and unequivocally, that those who have put their lives at risk for our country are welcome to live in it. That’s what my Bill would do, and I am deeply disappointed that the Government is not even letting it be debated in Parliament.
“I am not giving up. I will urge Ministers again to make Government time available to pass this urgent legislation, which has cross-party support.
“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.”
Other axed Liberal Democrat PMBs include:
- Public Inquiry on the Govt's handling of Covid
- Reasonable Adjustments for Carers
- Abolish Section 60 ('suspicionless') Stop & Search
- Gender X Passports
- EU citizens right to stay
- Misogyny as a hate crime
- End use of prison for women, except for serious or violent offenders who pose a threat to the public
- Standing up for the people of Hong Kong
- Reducing the number of women in prison
- Lifting the ban on all-ethnic-minority shortlists