Former SNP Deputy Leader Stewart Hosie fumed at the impact of Brexit on NHS staffing levels during Question Time in Bishop Auckland on Thursday. The Dundee East MP raged that “maybe if we hadn’t shut our borders” fewer NHS staff from overseas would have gone home meaning there would be fewer unfilled vacancies across the health service.
He said: “Maybe if we hadn’t shut our borders to our friends in Europe and all those doctors and nurses hadn’t gone home.
“That wouldn’t be at least one of the issues that we had to face.”
The former SNP Deputy Westminster leader added that many working people were now experiencing the highest levels of inflation in their lifetimes.
He said: “If we take the point that was originally made, inflation at 9, 10 ,11 percent. Most people who are working today have never seen inflation like that in their lives.
“They’ve never seen the erosion of their salaries like that in their lives.”
“So it’s no wonder people are balloting to go on strike.”
The SNP Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster added that he fully supported workers undertaking industrial action.
He said: “The one thing that strikes me, is that most people who are balloting to strike do not want to go on strike.
“They just want the Government to negotiate with them.
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“What about the teachers who went on strike today and yesterday”? host Fiona Bruce asked referencing walkouts by members of the EIS union.
Mr Hosie responded that SNP ministers in Holyrood were willing to negotiate with unions in sharp contrast to their Tory counterparts in Westminster therefore making a settlement more likely.
He said: “The teachers and the nurses, those negotiations are ongoing but therein lines the thing. The ministers are actually negotiating.
“UK ministers need to negotiate with the workforces who are on strike and worse than that they need to stop scuppering negotiations which is now a theme that is developing throughout the labour movement.”