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Statement from RCVS President on the Home Office accepting the Migration Advisory Committee's recommendations

25 July 2019

RCVS statement: President Niall Connell on the Home Office confirming it has accepted the Migration Advisory Committee’s proposals

“We are delighted to see that, in a written statement by the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid to the House of Commons dated 23 July, the Home Office has accepted all of the recommendations made by its Migration Advisory Committee in its review of the Shortage Occupation List, including that veterinary surgeons be added to the List.

“Both the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) worked together to ensure this outcome, which will see a lowering of the immigration barriers, for example, in terms of visa requirements, for overseas veterinary surgeons who wish to live and work in the UK.

“We also considered this a vital piece of preparation for the UK leaving the EU, as around half of those registering as veterinary surgeons with the RCVS in a given year are non-UK EU nationals and we would not want to see this vital supply of veterinary talent immediately dry up should ‘freedom of movement’ end when the UK leaves the EU.

“We thank Mr Javid for accepting the Committee’s proposals and congratulate his successor Priti Patel on her appointment and look forward to the decision being implemented. The new Prime Minister pledged on the steps of Downing Street to do more to promote the welfare of animals, and having veterinary surgeons on the Shortage Occupation List will help in our mission to uphold animal health and welfare and ensure that vital veterinary work can continue to get done, whatever happens with the relationship between the UK and the EU.”

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