ENSURE THAT BREXIT DOES NOT DAMAGE THE NATION'S HEALTH
The Prime Minister must make sure that the National Health Service and the care sector are properly funded – and not undermined in any way by our departure from the Single Market, the Customs Union and the Freedom of Movement zone etc at the end of this year. The double impact of Brexit and a potential resurgence of coronavirus this winter, poses a renewed threat to the NHS and the care sector's ability to function effectively. The government was warned by senior scientists on numerous occasions over the past few years to prepare the NHS and the care sector for a pandemic. They utterly failed to do so. The government has been warned since 2016 by economists about the likely impact of a hard Brexit. Again, they have failed to make adequate preparations. The Prime Minister, must therefore ensure that no more such failures occur. What's more, his stubborn refusal to extend the post-Brexit transition period means that Britain will face a simultaneous double crisis this winter – (a) a potential 'no deal' [or figleaf deal] departure from the Single Market and the Customs Union, etc and (b) a probable resurgence of coronavirus [and possibly flu]. Trying to deal with both potential crises at the same time may well put intolerable additional pressure on our NHS and care sector (resulting in yet more loss of life - and damage to our economy).
Brexit-related health sector promises from Boris Johnson and his colleagues:
The most famous promise made by Boris Johnson and his Vote Leave colleagues back in 2016 was that notorious slogan painted on their campaign battle bus, which sought to persuade Britain's voters that the government would use money allegedly saved through Brexit to fund the National Health Service. The actual slogan inaccurately claimed: "We send the EU £350 million a week. Lets fund our NHS instead".
It was clear at the time that it was nonsense – and tragically, economic developments over the past four years have now proved that it was nonsense. Even before coronavirus arrived on the scene, Brexit (all on its own) had caused the UK economy to lose 3% in growth terms – and that will cost the UK literally hundreds of billions of pounds over the coming years (So far it's cost the UK almost £200 billion!!). A 'no deal' or hard Brexit this winter will reduce exports by many more billions – and increase the government's unemployment benefits bill by yet more billions. With the 'double whammy' of Brexit and coronavirus, the government's tax income is likely to plummet – and the government will then need to borrow even more. Finally the UK will not be able to avoid paying its £40 billion outstanding debt to the EU.
The £350 million per week referendum campaign slogan sadly only amounts to £18.2 billion per year, compared to the hundreds of billions we are already losing!
So back in 2016 Boris Johnson and the Leave campaign was trumpeting their bit of 'cash saving', without taking into account the predicted (and now only too real) Brexit-related cash losses (which tragically dwarf any savings). At the time, they tried to downplay any unwelcome predictions – branding them 'project fear'. But tragically the chickens are now coming home to roost!