THE BLOG

Let Me Be Clear Mrs May, I'm Here To Stay

31/03/2017 10:54
Darwel via Getty Images

I came to the UK 17 years ago to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse. I love England and I have raised my family here. My kids are British. I have never had any problem or felt discriminated against, but since Brexit, I've started to feel like a second class citizen.

This week Mrs May has triggered Article 50. I now live in a country, which officially does not have my interests at heart. Last week I called this country 'home'. 'Home' is about respect, about belonging, about feeling safe and valued, about being 100% welcome. But today I don't feel welcome. I've been stabbed in the back, lied to and lied about by the government.

Again this week the Department of Health have announced another pay increase of just 1% for NHS workers meaning that in real terms is another pay cut as current cost of living rise is standing at 2.3% and is forecast to go even higher in coming months.

Since 2010 due pay stagnation and austerity measures my salary have been cut by 14% on real terms, meaning that now lots of my colleagues are struggling to make ends meet. On the top of that you need to add the uncertainty that Brexit.

By not guaranteeing our right to stay and delaying the decision about our future is sending the wrong message to the rest of the world. By using us as bargaining chips on the EU negotiation table is sending a message that foreigners are no longer welcome to come to the UK. What Mrs May doesn't realise is that nurses and doctors are highly valued and in high demand in other parts of the world like USA, Australia, Germany or Saudi Arabia for example.

Because of this uncertainty since Brexit applications from EU nurses wanting to come here have plummeted by 90%. The UK is no longer the first choice for EU nurses looking for a job. Why a migrant should come to England to settle when he or she don't have any guarantees that will be able to make a future in this country like I did 17 years ago. As a migrant the hardest decision is to leave your country, and the only thing we are looking for when we choose where to settle is a guarantee that we can settle and rebuild our lives and careers there. At present that is not the case of the UK.

There are an estimated 57,000 EU nationals working for the NHS, including 10,000 doctors and 20,000 nurses plus another 80,000 EU citizens working on the social care system. But the uncertain future means many they are starting to leave. At present, we are so short of nurses, the health service can't afford to lose more health workers.

Mrs May tactics are backfiring. The NHS is so desperate to recruit more nurses and doctors we cannot afford to turn our backs on EU Citizens.

Over the last year I've thought about my own situation. I love England and I have raised my family here. My kids are British. I have never had any problem or felt discriminated against. The NHS is made by over 200 different nationalities and is this diversity what makes it the best health care system in the world because until now it has managed to attract the best of the health professionals from around the world. But now the situation is changing, my EU colleagues have started to leave and more are thinking about moving to better pastures in coming months. If I was single I probably would have packed my bag a few months ago but I have a family to think about. I have also worked very hard to get where I currently am. I love my job and nursing is my passion and why I should leave? Mrs May and the Conservative Party have woken up my fighting spirit.

Someone described me the other day as a mixture of Spanish passion with a British heart. I will continue this fight because after Britain is my home and I want to fight for a better future, for me, my kids, my fellow EU citizens and everyone living in this amazing country called the UK. I have a mission; my mission is to fight together with ALL of you (Brexiters & Remainers) to make sure we make Britain great again.

Today I don't feel safe or valued anymore, It's a broken home. As I said before, my passport might say I'm Spanish but my heart is British and at present it's breaking my heart.

Let's fight together.

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