Friday, 10 November 2017

Brexit: and 'Can we have our £350m for the NHS, please?'

One would expect a former UK ambassador to the EU to be rather jaded:

Why does upbeat talk from figures like Boris Johnson and Liam Fox about the sunlit uplands of life outside the EU lack any credibility? Well, at least in part, because so many of the claims they made in the referendum campaign have already been shown to be untrue or remain shimmering mirages on a distant horizon. That £350 million a week sent to Brussels to be diverted to the NHS? It never existed, and the only thing coming back from Brussels just now is a substantial bill.

Britain is sinking into the Brexit quagmire | Prospect Magazine

However, it's not just the Leavers who keep on going on about that figure:

“Once we have settled our accounts, we will take back control of roughly £350m per week. It would be a fine thing, as many of us have pointed out, if a lot of that money went on the NHS, provided we use that cash injection to modernise and make the most of new technology.”

My vision for a bold, thriving Britain enabled by Brexit - Telegraph
PressReader.com - Connecting People Through News
Boris Johnson resurrects the Leave campaign’s £350m for NHS fantasy - New Statesman

The Sun reports on what the head of the NHS England has to say about it:


NHS must get the £350m a week promised by Brexit campaigners, says head of health service

Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England, said that ministers should deliver the key pledge to try and restore Brits' faith in democracy and bring the country back together

ONE in ten people in England will be on an NHS waiting list in four years unless it gets more money, England's health service chief has said.
Simon Stevens today demanded that politicians cough up the promised £350m extra per week for the NHS, or risk destroying trust in democracy.

 NHS chief Simon Stevens warned that 2018 would see a very tough financial period for the health service
NHS chief Simon Stevens warned that 2018 would see a very tough financial period for the health service

He cited the Brexit campaign claim - which he said was key to winning the referendum - during a speech this morning to the NHS Providers Conference. And he argued that boosting funding in our health service could actually help to repair divisions in Britain.
"The NHS wasn't on the ballot paper, but it was on the Battle Bus," Mr Stevens said today. "Vote Leave for a better funded health service - £350 million a week."
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it wasn't a government promise, but that if there was any spare cash after Brexit, the NHS should be the "first port of call".

 The Vote Leave bus said there would be more money for the NHS
The Vote Leave bus said there would be more money for the NHS

Mr Stevens went on:"Rather than our criticising these clear Brexit funding commitments to NHS patients - promises entered into by Cabinet ministers and by MPs - the public want to see them honoured.
"Trust in democratic politics will not be strengthened if anyone now tries to argue: 'You voted Brexit, partly for a better funded health service. But precisely because of Brexit, you now can't have one.'
"A modern NHS is itself part of the practical answer to the deep social concerns that gave rise to Brexit"He claimed that "at a time of national division, an NHS that brings us together".
But the Health Secretary distances himself from the Vote Leave claims, saying: "It wasn’t a government promise, it was a promise by the Leave campaign." But he added: "if there is a Brexit dividend, if we end up having less pressure on public finances… because we are not making payments to the NHS… Then I believe the NHS should be first port of call."
Mr Hunt, who also spoke at the conference, said that the NHS had saved £700m this financial year, but acknowledged that "there are lots of things that we know that we can do better."
And Mr Stevens, who has repeatedly called for more cash for our national health service, said that without this extra cash, the NHS would really begin to struggle, and predicted that hospital waiting lists could soar by a QUARTER to five million by 2021. "2018, which is the 70th anniversary of the NHS is poised to be the toughest financial year," he warned.
Shadow Health Secretary John Ashworth urged Philip Hammond to come forward with more cash in this month's Budget.
"Theresa May simply cannot carry on ignoring the dismal consequences for patient care of refusing to properly fund the NHS," he said. "Theresa May and Philip Hammond must now take these heavyweight warnings seriously and in the upcoming Budget finally provide the investment our NHS now desperately needs."

NHS must get the £350m a week promised by Brexit campaigners, says head of health service
Brexit: NHS England boss demands £350m-a-week promised to Leave voters | The Independent

And the same story in Polish, German and Spanish:
MojaWyspa.co.uk: BREXIT - Gdzie obiecane miliony dla NHS? - strona 1
Gesundheitsdienst fordert 350 Millionen Pfund Brexit-Versprechen ein - Wirtschaft › Brexit - derStandard.de
Solo Brexit - Adiós a Londres de los enfermeros españoles - Blogs Expansión.com

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