Government documents revealed in the event of Boris Johnson’s plan to leave the EU without agreements between member states, the NHS is advised to start charging EU patients “immediately after exit day” on October 31. The new rules could see EU citizens already living in the UK having to prove their status before getting access to free NHS healthcare. Reports from the MailOnline claim EU citizens will have to show a proof of residency or a utility bill in order to get free treatment from the NHS.
Nobody will be refused access to emergency treatment.
The documents state the absence of a healthcare agreement with the EU, or broader agreements with countries such as Norway and Switzerland, there will be no free treatment.
The documents state: “After exit day new visitors from those countries to the UK will no longer automatically be entitled to free NHS-funded healthcare in England.
"They will be chargeable at the standard NHS tariff unless they fall within one of the existing exemptions.
"They may, however, choose to use private healthcare, or travel insurance to recover costs paid to the NHS for treatment received."
The UK is also in talks with Brussels to try and secure free medical treatment for brits abroad, but this is still yet to happen.
Mr Johnson received a backlash from the Lib Dems following the release of the documents, saying he is going back on his assurance to the 3.2million EU nationals living in the UK that they “will get the absolute certainty of the rights to live and remain in Britain”.
Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Ed Davey said: "This policy demonstrates that Boris Johnson has no intention of honouring the promise he made to the 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK.
"Both the Leave campaign and the Conservative Government promised that their rights would not change after Brexit, but this policy would deprive more than two million of their right to NHS care, free at the point of use.”
He added: “The Government says EU citizens have until the end of 2020 to apply for Settled Status, even if we crash out of the EU without a deal, but now we discover it plans to subject them to the Conservatives' Hostile Environment as of November 1 this year.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: "We can completely reassure EU citizens currently living in the UK before or on October 31 that they will still be able to access free healthcare on the NHS after we leave the EU on 31 October, whatever the circumstances.
"How they prove their eligibility for NHS treatment will not change, regardless of whether they have applied to the EU settlement scheme."