Plaid Cymru will table an amendment to the Immigration Bill that will force the British Government to consider giving non-UK health and social care staff the option of UK citizenship.

Ahead of the Bill’s Second Reading in the Commons today (18 May), Hywel Williams MP, confirmed that the party had developed an amendment that would be tabled if the Bill passes its first vote on the proposed legislation which will take place this evening.

In his speech during the debate on the Bill, Mr Williams will highlight that the British Government previously granted the Gurkhas British citizenship for their contribution to defending the UK. He will call for a similar scheme to be implemented for those on the frontline fighting the Coronavirus in the health and social care system.

Around 25per cent of UK hospital staff were born overseas figures according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

During the debate, Hywel Williams MP will say:

“Now more than ever we have seen the value brought to communities all over the UK by people who choose to make it their home.

“It was this Bill and Priti Patel’s Home Office which tried to demonise many of those fighting the virus as ‘low-skilled workers’, like the care staff looking after the most vulnerable and putting themselves in harm’s way.

"The UK Government granted the Gurkhas British citizenship rights for their great skill, courage and dignity during some of the most difficult times in history. The Coronavirus pandemic is no different.

“This Bill now looks like it was from a different era and simply cannot get passed in its current form. It is the beginning of a more regressive immigration system just as more people than ever are valuing the contribution of migrants to our society.

“Now is the time for us in Wales to demand the powers to create a fairer Welsh immigration system, tailored to the needs of our communities and our economy.

“As a first step, Plaid Cymru will be fighting hard to ensure those people that have served our society so bravely fighting this virus are given the option to stay – and get British citizenship – if they so please.”