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Expat NHS bill and the Liberal Exit - Printable Version

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Expat NHS bill and the Liberal Exit - Stone de Croze - 06-01-2017

Estimates by the Nuffield Trust show that the UK could face a bill of up to £1bn if retired expats who currently reside in Europe return home for health care. The report showed that there would also be a significant increase in inpatient beds required, equivalent to two new hospitals. Admittedly these figures have been disputed, and even the Nuffield Trust themselves admitted their estimations vary from £500m, possibly rising to the headlined £1bn.
 
Whatever the actual figure is in monetary terms there is also another cost, a mental cost to the expat population living in the EU and likewise to the many law abiding decent EU nationals living in the UK. Theresa May is using people as some form of economic human shield or bargaining pieces as part of the Tory hard Brexit strategy. This is morally indecent at best and possibly inhumane by allowing this mental anguish to continue.
 
The Conservatives attitude to Brexit negotiations has been aggressive from the very beginning. Instead of discussing and having common agreement on securing the rights of UK and EU nationals, Theresa May has entered discussions with very little tact and diplomacy. If anything she has acted like a throwback to the days of the Empire, practically making Britain (or at least its leadership) a laughing stock on the global stage. Hence why almost one year later there is huge uncertainty over health care for UK nationals in Europe.
 
One of the differences I see between a ‘Liberal Exit’ and a ‘Hard Brexit’ is Liberals will put the needs of the people first. Health care is one such need and it’s disgraceful there has been no common ground sought between the UK and the Parliaments of the EU states.  
 
Looking further at a ‘Liberal Exit’ I think we should never forget the reasons why the party opted to support leaving the EU. It was in recognition the EU was an illiberal organisation, it was not internationalist, it was undemocratic and it was imposing its will upon the democracies of southern Europe. Although I feared a Tory Brexit more than I feared remaining in the EU (and subsequently campaigned and voted to Remain), the reasons for seeking a Liberal Exit are justified. However unlike the Tories and Labour, and definitely unlike the ‘Continuity Remainers’ in the Lib Dems and the Greens, Liberals chose to leave as the first step to a better Europe. (Personally I hope this better Europe is a Commonwealth of Europe to replace the EU).  This message is something that would resonate with both the Leave and Remain camps with the exception of the hard core ‘Little Englander’ Brexiteers.
 
·         The possible expat NHS bill and the uncertainty facing expats, EU nationals and businesses is the result of ongoing Brexit mismanagement by the Conservative Government.
·         A Liberal Exit would be a People’s Brexit, where the rights of expats and EU nationals are a priority.
·         A Liberal Exit is not isolationist, it’s about co-operation and flexible working relationships across the globe, and the first step towards a better Europe.


RE: Expat NHS bill and the Liberal Exit - NeilT - 06-02-2017

Good points,