“The public…need guarantees on NHS staffing, access to medicines and the safety of the NHS from any US-UK trade deal, before they can be satisfied that… Brexit will do no harm to our NHS and social care.”
These are the warnings shared by ten professional health organisations with all Members of Parliament about the impact of Brexit on the most unifying of our nation’s modern institutions, the one that heals more divides than football coming home, more than the monarchy, more than the Lottery, TV soap operas or Dad’s Army, the only one attending most of us from birth to death, the one that gives health to national identity:
ending freedom of movement from the EU could deprive the NHS of essential staff
any new customs checks or barriers for medicines and equipment could have very serious implications for care and push up costs, and
any economic damage from Brexit would make it difficult to deliver an NHS funding boost
Nine MPs from six parties, including two GPs, a surgeon and two former Health Ministers, have united to ask the Prime Minister asking for urgent action to protect the NHS from Brexit:
“At its 70th birthday, the NHS faces – in Brexit – perhaps the greatest threat to its survival in its history.
I’m an NHS doctor who works in the A&E department. I voted Leave in the EU referendum, but now I’ve joined the campaign for a people’s vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal.
“The consent given by the public for Brexit was not informed consent. In medicine – and surely to any reasonable person – consent which is not informed is considered invalid, and this mandates a vote on the Brexit deal.”
“It is worth your knowing that the proposed agreement [between UK Government and EU] directly affects our family. We now have nowhere our family’s right to stay together and live as as a family is guaranteed.
In the UK, my wife is not, it transpires, eligible for permanent residency, because she didn’t have private health insurance (it’s essential for non-UK EU nationals living in the UK – who knew?) when we had our daughter – and so, in the official view, benefited from NHS support illegitimately (this was not queried at the time, and we were not billed).
As a result of today’s accord, I no longer have the right to live in Italy. It is now discretionary: Italy can make me apply for temporary leave to stay, and reapply for permanent status.
Both I and my wife, despite her native citizenship, would both be subject to systematic criminal checks, and could be deported before appeal. And, worse still, our exercise of free movement to any other EU states is now defined as a “life choice”, not a right. Theresa May has totally caved in on our rights, to save her own face.
It is a shameful day for the Government, and for the UK, for allowing them to get away with it. We were encouraged to be European in our outlook and the practical details of our lives, which we have built around the idea of being citizens of the EU. It will be a bleak day for us all if the European Parliament votes to accept these terms.”