Time to call the non-EU doctor | Letters

Alison Garnham is distressed about Brexit and the ‘hostile environment’ policy. Prof Peter Ekkehard Kopp addresses immigration panic

Standing on a tube platform, Miriam González Durántez’s article (May has added insult to the injury of Brexit, Journal, 29 November) made me cry. Growing up in the north-east of England during the 1970s, I did not get to meet many foreigners as a child, so any opportunity I had to make contact with someone from somewhere different was deeply exciting. Now, living in London, surrounded by difference, it is no less exciting, and I am enthralled as I have ever been by different ways of living and thinking.

Having worked for 20 years looking after international students, I was deeply distressed by the Brexit vote and shocked by the increasing horrors of the “hostile environment” policy. An additional sadness is that my 21-year-old son, who has grown up among friends from all around the world, has lost at a stroke his right to live and work in the rest of Europe. But that is not the only thing he has lost: the trebling of tuition fees in 2010 wiped out the money we had been carefully saving to give him at 18, and saddled him with a £50,000 debt. But those two political blunders pale into insignificance beside the damage inflicted on his generation by the comprehensive failure of all governments to address the existential threat of climate change and halt the destruction of life on earth. That is when I really weep.
Alison Garnham
Chigwell, Essex

• The news that – at last! – the government plans to increase the number of young non-EU doctors allowed to work in the UK under the medical training initiative (MTI) is very welcome (Report, 30 November). We also learn that, sensibly, numbers on the MTI are not counted as part of the immigration total, as they form part of an exchange scheme in sharing knowledge and experience. That is exactly as it should be, but it raises the question: why on earth are university students counted in the immigration total? Surely the same logic should apply to them? The current immigration panic could be much reduced.
Prof Peter Ekkehard Kopp
Hull

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