BREXITEER radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer exploded in a row with a London GP claiming Brexit is driving European doctors and nurses to leave the United Kingdom in their droves – despite numbers changing very little since the referendum.
The pro-Brexit presenter blasted Shepherd’s Bush GP Sarah Jarvis after she suggested the NHS crisis could worsen with EU doctors and nurses moving abroad as Britain leaves the European Union.
Dr Jarvis said Hartley-Brewer was “deluding” herself with statistics, prompting the radio host to shut the GP down.
Hartley-Brewer said: “I’m sorry but if they are that educated, that useful to us, they would know that they are not going to be expected to leave and they are going to have the right to stay here.
“They know perfectly well. I can assure you there’s not a single person anywhere, anywhere to do with the Government or Brexit, thinks anyone from the EU who is living here legally is going to be expected to leave or will ask to leave. It’s a load of nonsense.”
Official data published earlier this week revealed that the number of NHS staff coming from the EU had virtually remained unchanged since the EU Referendum in 2016 – moving from 5.5 percent in June 2016 to 5.6 percent in September 2017.
The report, however, recorded 0.3 percent fall in EU nurses and a slight fall in EU doctors after reaching a 9.9 percent high in March 2017.
Hartley-Brewer continued: “If these are such highly prized employees, a cursory google search would tell them that they won’t be asked to leave and they’ll have the legal right to stay here. A cursory Google search.
“If they can’t be bothered to do that, they’re probably not much use to us in the NHS, are they? I’m not going to let this stand.
“The idea that the British people carrying out a democratic vote to have sovereign control over their own country is in any way two-fingers up to any foreign worker who is here legally is an absolute load of nonsense.”
But Dr Jarvis said that despite the talkRADIO host’s point of view, EU NHS staff had stopped “feeling welcome” since the Brexit vote.
She added: “The real concern is whether or not people who are already here – the really experienced ones – are going to stay. And it needs to be people at the right grade.
“We’ve got people who have lived here for years – if they haven’t got families for instance – who are planning to leave because they are uncertain about the future. The simple fact of the matter is that they do not feel welcome here.
“You can complain all you like about the reason they are going back. We are the ones who are going to.”
Brexit minister Steve Baker told MPs more than 3,000 workers from the European Union had joined the NHS since the Brexit vote.
Mr Baker said: “The latest figures from NHS Digital show that there were over 3,000 more EU nationals including 470 more doctors working in the NHS in June 2017 than before the referendum result.”