After Brexit, the NHS will have to home-grow its people

The NHS was never going to get an extra £350m a week from Britain leaving the European Union. Boris Johnson, who spent the last few weeks on a bus pushing this claim, is a political corpse. But missing out on this money will not be the health service’s biggest Brexit challenge.

It looks likely that a post-Brexit Britain will control immigration more tightly than it has as part of the EU. As NHS England head Simon Stevens said during the referendum campaign, the health and care sectors depend heavily on 135,000 EU staff, about 5% of the total workforce. Continue reading “After Brexit, the NHS will have to home-grow its people”

IT, immigration and education for The Register

The Register has just published my piece on why IT departments in Britain employ so many staff from outside Britain (and likewise in the US).

There’s a lively debate already underway in the comments, but rather than immigration, interviewees blame a combination of schools’ lack of interest in coding – now being changed by schemes like Raspberry Pi’s Code Club – and a sense that software engineering isn’t a top-draw job, unlike respectable professions such as, er, investment banking. Continue reading “IT, immigration and education for The Register”

Leave out dodgy numbers on EU and NHS

The Vote Leave campaign bus has ‘We send the EU £350 million a week, let’s fund our NHS instead’ written on its side. This number is, to be polite, a bit dodgy. Due to the rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher, the actual amount is about £250m a week, or £13bn a year. The EU then spends more than £4bn in the UK, mainly on farmers and badly-off parts of the country, which would push the figure down to about £165m a week. Continue reading “Leave out dodgy numbers on EU and NHS”

Why tech firms fear Brexit: immigration. Lack of it.

Many people will vote for Brexit because they fear immigration. UK bosses of tech companies I have spoken to for The Register will vote against it because they fear lack of immigration. And the one I found who will vote for a British exit from the EU thinks that Cameron’s deal is bad partly because it tries to restrict immigration.

Continue reading “Why tech firms fear Brexit: immigration. Lack of it.”

Art in Amsterdam article for Railbookers All Aboard magazine

Railbookers, the rail specialist travel agency, publishes a magazine called All Aboard. I have an article in the latest issue on art in Amsterdam, based on a trip just over a year ago which I wrote about for Beacon.

I focused on two galleries. One, the Rijksmuseum, is the obvious choice – although that doesn’t make it any less brilliant, particularly following its recent renovations. The other is less well-known, and is happy to be so given it only has capacity for a handful of visitors each day: the Six Collection, situated in the Six family’s grand house on the Amstel.

Continue reading “Art in Amsterdam article for Railbookers All Aboard magazine”