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Unite union leader Len McCluskey takes part in a demonstration to demand more funding for Britain's National Health Service (NHS), in London
Image: Unite union leader Len McCluskey takes part in a demonstration to demand more funding for Britain's National Health Service (NHS), in London, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

Brexit is the NHS’s “Biggest Threat”, say over 100 Politicians

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Image: Unite union leader Len McCluskey takes part in a demonstration to demand more funding for Britain's National Health Service (NHS), in London, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

More than 100 of MPs, MEPs and members from five parties are calling Brexit the “biggest threat” to the health care system. The multi-party group says it’s up to the public to decide if leaving the E.U. is “too high a price to pay.”

The Cost to Health

Over one hundred elected officials from across five different political parties have published a bleak statement of caution regarding the fate of the NHS following Brexit. The letter referred to the British departure from the European Union as “the biggest threat of all,” to the health care system.

The letter was supported by MPs, MEPs and peers from the Labour party, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, the SNP and the Plaid Cymru. Within it, they claimed that a hard Brexit would result in struggles for the NHS “for decades to come.” Furthermore, it claimed that it would lead to greater privatisation in the country’s health care.

Patients at Risk

Within the letter, the politicians described many different angles from which the health care system risks harm. They included a warning about the way the economic slowdown, disconnection from primary E.U. health agencies, a drop in staff and a rising challenge to important cancer treatment materials would place the NHS under considerable pressure while risking the health and wellbeing of patients.

The signatories of the letter included pro-E.U. Open Brexit campaign supporters. Within it, the cross-party group explained that “As the winter crisis pressures continue it is increasingly clear that the biggest threat of all to the NHS is a hard Brexit. And the reason for this is clear. Brexit will act as a stress multiplier, exacerbating the many challenges facing the health service for decades to come.”

The added that even though claims that an additional £350 million per week could be directed into NHS after Brexit have been thoroughly discredited, a similar amount has actually dropped in the form of reduced U.K. economic growth since the referendum to leave the E.U.

“This is already translating into lower tax receipts and will mean less money for the NHS,” said the letter. “Future generations will ask why, as our health service was crying out for more resources, we as a country embarked on a national mission to downgrade our economy.”

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alvexo on the matter.