Scottish government offers to reimburse settled status fees to EU nurses after Brexit
Supply of nursing staff from the European Union is a critical issue for Scotland – Sturgeon
Supply of nursing staff from the European Union is a critical for Scotland – Sturgeon
The Scottish Government said it will reimburse the fee nurses from the European Union will have to pay to secure settled status in Scotland post-Brexit.
EU nurses and midwives practising in the UK will have to apply for settled or pre-settled status if they wish to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020.
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said it is unacceptable that EU citizens would be charged £65 for a status to which they are currently entitled.
Yet Ms Sturgeon said her government had been prevented by Westminster from covering the fee directly.
'The Scottish Government is committed to paying the fee for EU citizens working in our devolved public services. However the UK government will not allow third-party payments, thereby forcing EU citizens to pay it up-front.'
Essential to the workforce
Ms Sturgeon said the issue was critical considering Scotland was already experiencing a drop in applications from nurses in the EU.
‘Brexit has the potential to exacerbate already serious challenges to workforce supply’
Norman Provan, associate director, RCN Scotland
RCN Scotland associate director Norman Provan welcomed the Scottish Government's move.
‘The RCN is pleased the Scottish Government is determined to support EU citizens working across health and care sectors.
‘Scotland's health and care services are under enormous pressure, and Brexit has the potential to exacerbate already serious challenges to workforce supply.’
A Home Office spokesperson said: 'It is a matter for individual employers to decide whether they wish to pay the EU Settlement Scheme fee on behalf of an applicant. The cost of applying to the scheme is less than the cost of renewing a British passport, and EU citizens have until June 2021 to apply.'
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