The government has pledged £150m to temporarily cover the healthcare costs of 180,000 British nationals living in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said workers posted to the bloc, plus pensioners and students, who can currently have their healthcare funded by the UK under existing reciprocal arrangements, would continue to be covered for six months after a crash out.
The government will also pay the treatment costs of UK tourists if they began their holiday before the UK leaves the EU.
“Protecting the healthcare rights of UK nationals is a priority of this government,” said Hancock.
However, the move was met with anger by campaign groups. Sue Wilson, chair of Bremain in Spain, the country where the largest cohort of pensioners live, said: “They keep making these announcements and they seem to think they will provide reassurance. But they are time-limited and therefore have the opposite effect – people will ask what happens after six months.
“What we need is reassurance that our rights do not change regardless. That is what the leave campaign promised, that’s what Michael Gove promised and it’s clear every time they make one of these statements that is not the case.”
Full article in The Guardian