In the wake of the decision to suspend parliament from 9 September to 14 October, Britain’s health unions have warned that a no-deal Brexit could “devastate the NHS”.
With the October 31 Brexit deadline occurring just two weeks later, health unions are concerned that the prorogation will force through a no-deal EU exit.
In a joint statement, signed by 12 organisations including the British Medical Association (BMA), they say no deal could lead to vital medicine shortages, with significant disruption to the supply of medicine expected to last up to six months. “These kinds of shortages and delays can be fatal. No responsible government should take that risk,” they say.
They highlight the impact a no-deal situation could have on the NHS staffing crisis and they call on Ministers to “unequivocally guarantee the right of European health and care staff to continue to live and work in the UK”.
The unions express concern at the potential financial implications of a no deal. Treasury assessments have already estimated that a no-deal scenario would shrink the economy by £90 billion.
With waiting times rising, operations being cancelled and yet another winter crisis looming, the health service cannot weather a long-term economic shock, they warn.
They call on the government to “take no deal off the table”.