UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Thursday that the migrant surcharge on the healthcare workers in the National Health Service (NHS) has been removed. This comes after the British PM had told the UK lawmakers that imposing the £624 fee on NHS workers from other countries is the “right way forward” amid the coronavirus crisis. According to reports, Johnson’s Conservative government was ‘forced’ to take the major U-turn from its policy by the opposition.
The UK PM even faced harsh criticism for his remarks from Tory MP’s including the Labour leader Keir Starmer who had raised the issue in the House of Commons on May 20.
Meanwhile, till now, UK has recorded 252,234 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 36,124 fatalities.
According to reports, the critics of the controversial visa surcharge was called ‘mean-spirited and immoral’. According to Tory MPs, the extra fee on migrant NHS workers risked a rebellion on a Labour amendment to the immigration bill. After emotional appeals from the NHS staff from foreign countries and backlash on social media, Johnson’s government was cornered to backtrack from its own announcement. According to the sources of an international news outlet, Johnson was ‘thinking hard’ about the surcharge before making the announcement of it being dropped.
The Labour leader hailed the reversal of the surcharge as ‘victory for common decency’. It was also announced just a few hours before the weekly ‘Clap for NHS’ event that is witnesses participation by Johnson himself. On May 22, Johnson had posted the video of him outside the Downing Street standing alone and cheering for the ‘fantastic’ NHS. The British PM said, "Thank you to all of our wonderful carers for your work during the coronavirus pandemic. You make us all proud to have such a fantastic NHS."