The Liberal Democrats have used Europe Day to urge the government to grant foreign healthcare workers tackling the coronavirus the right to remain the UK.
The campaign to give staff and their families indefinite leave to remain comes on the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, which kick-started the EU project.
The proposals have been backed by all parties, including representatives from Labour, the Conservatives, SNP, Green, Alliance and the Liberal Democrats.
Europe Day is held on May 9 every year to celebrate peace and unity across Europe. The EU is marking the day this year by paying tribute to the many Europeans who are helping to defeat the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking ahead of this year’s celebration the Lib Dems’ acting leader Ed Davey said: ‘Europe Day is a reminder of the value of international cooperation. Standing shoulder to shoulder with our European neighbours has never been more important.
‘Only by working internationally can we effectively combat international challenges – whether it’s Covid-19 or climate change.
‘Today is also an opportunity to recognise the contributions EU citizens living in the UK make to our society. And to thank these friends, colleagues, neighbours, and family members who enrich our lives every day.’
Davey offered a heartfelt thanks to workers on the frontlines of the battle against Covid-19, saying their contribution ‘has been immense and crucial.’
‘We cannot thank the people on the frontline enough for going above and beyond to look after us all,’ he added.
‘one of these people should face being kicked out of the UK by the Home Office after the service they have provided.
‘[The] Liberal Democrats will continue to call on the government to grant these heroes automatic indefinite leave to remain.’