MPs have written to the Government urging it to give the NHS the extra £350m a week promised by Brexit campaigners.
More than 40 politicians, mostly from the Labour Party and also including Liberal Democrat and Green Party representatives, have called for chancellor Philip Hammond to make good on the promise in next month’s autumn statement.
Fifty-two per cent voted for the UK to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum, which was preceded by the leave campaign driving a bus around the country featuring the infamous pledge to give the cash spent on EU contributions to the NHS.
The letter, signed by high-profile figures including Chuka Umunna, Norman Lamb and Caroline Lucas, says: ‘Vote Leave promised that, if Britain left the EU, £350m a week extra would be spent on the NHS.
‘The foreign secretary, the secretary of state for international trade, the secretary of state for the environment, the secretary of state for transport and the secretary of state for international development all appeared in photo opportunities featuring these messages. They made a very clear promise to the British people, and it is clear that a very large number of people believed this promise.
‘We accept the verdict of the British people. Yet it is clear that, if this mandate is to mean anything, it must include the single most visible promise of the leave campaign — spending £350m more a week on the NHS.’
BMA council chair Mark Porter wrote to the then prime minister David Cameron after the vote to urge the Government to keep the promise.
Dr Porter wrote: ‘A central point to the leave campaign was a promise of £350m a week to be redirected to the NHS as we cease our funding to the EU. This appeared fanciful at the time but the speed in which this commitment was reneged upon and proven to be a lie to the British public is truly shameful state of affairs.
‘With such a prominent campaign message proving to be successful at the ballot box, what cannot be disputed is the public’s eagerness to see increased funding for the NHS.
‘The BMA calls on the Government to make good on the promise made to the British public and give the NHS the funding which it requires so that doctors can provide the service for patients which they deserve.’
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