Updates from the Branch

  • [Image: Shutterstock]

    "European Movement UK welcomes the new government under Sir Keir Starmer," said CEO, Sir Nick Harvey, "and congratulates the newly elected MPs, alongside those who have retained their seats."

    "We now look forward with the hope that the new government," he continued, "and the influx of pro-European MPs from across all parties, will seize the opportunity to put an end to the divisive politics of the past decade, which has left families poorer, public services in pieces, and the UK's reputation and influence severely diminished globally."

    "The next parliament faces serious challenges, but also a unique opportunity, to rebuild the economy, breathe life back into the NHS, and ensure the UK plays its part on the world's stage.

    "Finding solutions to many of those problems will involve serious assessments of our future relationship with the European Union, and facing the damage that a hard Brexit continues to wreak on us all. We cannot rebuild the UK without rebuilding our relationship with the EU.

    "We must grasp this opportunity for a new dawn for the UK's relationship with Europe, and European Movement UK will not hold back in helping to hold the new government to account. With swathes of new MPs, and a completely new complexion in Parliament, we're finally in much better territory to build energetic and sustained support for our European future."

  • European Movement UK has unveiled a new online tool to help voters understand their local candidates' positions on European issues ahead of the general election on 4th July.

    The "Manifesto on Europe Postcode Lookup" allows users to enter their postcode and view responses from candidates in their constituency regarding their stance on our Manifesto on Europe and of dealing with the impact of Brexit.

    The tool aims to make Brexit and UK-EU relations a key election issue and European Movement supporters are putting Europe on the election agenda by contacting candidates to seek their commitment to action on rebuilding the UK's relationship with Europe.

    Want to know what your candidates are saying on Europe? Use the postcode checker here.

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  • EM local group, Stratford4Europe, organised two days of campaigning for Face The Music - a street stall and a concert - after applying for and receiving a grant from European Movement UK.

    Beginning with a street stall on May 25th, the group organised a performance from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire on Thursday, May 30th, at the Holy Trinity Parish Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

    Following their performance, the musicians gave personal testimony to their own feelings about the campaign and gave an encore of the European Union’s national anthem to end of the evening.

    The packed-out 150 capacity hall concert was full of support for the Face the Music campaign, with some of the audience even writing letters of support in the local paper.

    This event takes place after European Movement activists took action across the UK in places like SwanseaLambeth, Edinburgh, and Swindon, for our Face The Music Action Weekend in March, and the timing of this event is also very important. 

    European Movement UK has been campaigning for months for urgent action to be taken on behalf of musicians, whose ability to perform or work in Europe has been crippled by post-Brexit bureaucracy. Speaking to the FT this week, Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, has promised that a Labour government would seek "improved touring rights for UK artists".

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  • As the UK gears up for the upcoming general election on 4th July, European Movement UK is urging voters to demand clarity from political candidates on their stance regarding the UK's relationship with the European Union.

    Brexit, one of the most contentious issues of our time, continues to cast a long shadow over our country's future, impacting crucial areas such as economic growth, climate change, defence, immigration, and staffing in the NHS.

    European Movement UK has launched a tool that enables voters to easily identify their local candidates and send them a message, requesting their commitment to the pledges outlined in The Manifesto on Europe. The goal is to ensure that all 4,515 candidates standing across the UK hear from European Movement members and supporters, underscoring the public's unwavering concern and interest in the issues caused by Brexit.

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  • Moderate pro-EU parties have won around two-thirds of the seats in the European Parliament, according to provisional results.

    The far-right has made gains and this is causing justified concern. But the two far-right groups will have less than a fifth of the seats. And far-right MEPs have a long record of grandstanding and squabbling instead of putting in hard work to represent voters. Extremists have been present in the Parliament for many decades. They have never driven its agenda and they won't now.

    The European Parliament matters. It will continue to perform effectively its crucial work of amending and passing EU laws, in agreement with national Ministers sitting in the Council.

    Before the new Parliament gets down to its day-to-day legislative work, it must approve the appointment of the European Commission President for the next five years, by an overall majority of at least 361 MEPs out of 720.

    After that, the Parliament will hold tough hearings with each nominee Commissioner. Then the new Commission, as a whole, will need endorsement in a parliamentary vote before it can take office. This is European democracy in action.

    Everyone in the UK will still be affected by the European Parliament’s decisions, on the economy, trade, climate change and more. But we no longer have a voice. Brexit unseated our MEPs and disenfranchised UK voters, as well as hobbling our economy.

    In France, Italy, Germany and elsewhere, even far-right parties no longer dare say they want their countries to leave the EU. Because they know voters have seen the mess made by Brexit.

    The antics of Nigel Farage’s UKIP were embarrassing. But many other former UK MEPs were renowned both for promoting British and European values and for mastering detail. So losing them also weakened the European Parliament and the EU.

    European Movement UK aims to put the UK back at the centre of Europe, with UK MEPs in the European Parliament, a UK Commissioner and UK Ministers around the Council table. That will take time - but it will happen.

    Meanwhile, we will have a new government in a few weeks. In line with our Manifesto on Europe, European Movement UK will be calling on it to build bridges rapidly with the rest of Europe, including with the newly-elected European Parliament.

  • European Movement UK has just launched the Manifesto on Europe - our list of key demands for the next government to address the catastrophic damage of Brexit and rebuild ties with Europe.

    This manifesto is a crucial lobbying tool for our movement over the next 29 days. The headline is that we want all candidates to commit to improving our relationship with the EU.

    It also includes detailed policy asks with practical steps - like carrying out an honest assessment of Brexit’s impact, rejoining the Erasmus+ programme, and making sure that our rights and standards remain in step with our EU neighbours.

    We will use it to challenge the Brexit silence and pressure candidates to tell us where they really stand on key issues related to the EU. Take a look and help us spread the message.

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  • The head of the Royal Academy of Music has said terminal damage is being done to the UK's music industry by Brexit, in an interview for the Face The Music campaign by European Movement UK.  

    Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood is principal of one of the world's most prestigious music schools, which boasts Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox among its former students.  

    "You've got to have a political will at the heart of understanding the importance to the UK to be open for business, for the very best talent from all over the world. And Brexit has stopped that flow of talent coming in.

    "I think there will be terminal damage in an area where we have a world-renowned reputation as educators and as people who make a difference worldwide in the creative industries. It's a colossal waste, in terms of reputation, in terms of capability, in terms of possibility of things that Britain has always done incredibly well.'  

    "Brexit goes entirely against the mentality of the way musicians think. UK students don't have the access to European work, both when they’re students, and of course when they graduate, and that is a huge cultural and professional problem. There are no benefits. There is nothing there. There are no winners."  

    The Face The Music campaign is urging the government to find address the ongoing damage to UK musicians and artists touring the EU. You can watch the personal stories from people from across the industry, and how they've been affected, here.

    Watch full interview here.

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  • ‘Leaving the EU has destroyed people’s careers.’ That’s the view of one of the classical music world’s brightest young talents, James Henshaw. It’s the view of others working in music, too.  

    From bands and instrument makers to backstage staff – the loss of freedom of movement, the ‘work-90-days-in-180’ rule, and the mind-boggling visa and carnet system – all mean one of the UK’s most successful cultural exports is being slowly destroyed. 

    It’s why our new campaign is urging the Government to stop the damage being done to the UK music industry. 

    Face The Music, led by European Movement UK, is shining a spotlight on the plight of musicians, touring artists and backstage staff, since the UK left the EU on 31st January 2020, and is urging the Government to negotiate a bilateral agreement, one which guarantees visa-free travel for UK artists in the EU, and for EU artists in the UK.  

    Our research shows a talent drain on British music, from up-and-coming stars leaving Britain to live in an EU country, to instrument makers who have lost their EU customers due to rising exports costs, to jobbing musicians who face being shut out of freelance work because they no longer hold an EU passport. 

    “I was forced to choose between my job and my country,” said James Henshaw, a rising star among conductors on the UK classical music scene, who moved from London to Germany in 2020.  

    “I knew that if I wanted to continue working, I couldn’t stay in the UK. In my own country. I felt shut out. Everyone in the classical music world is constantly moving. 8 weeks here, 8 weeks there. About 15% of my work before Brexit was in the UK, and the rest was from around the world – a lot from the EU. But after 2020, I could see that EU work drying up. Because if several candidates go for a job, and you’re the only one who needs a visa and all the paperwork, you don’t stand a chance. So I had to move. I had to, to keep working.” 

    Matt Carghill plays in the band Sly and the Family Drone. He used to tour EU countries every year – but that’s now stopped.  

    “We’d just get in the van – instruments, merchandise, throw it all in and off you go. It was the merchandise sales that got us through, the money that would pay for the fuel to get to the next gig. Now, because of all the export costs, you can’t do it. It’s over.” 

    Rachel Nicholls is a freelance British soprano in opera and concert, currently starring in The Handmaid’s Tale in London. Since leaving the EU, her whole career has changed.  

    “I used to do three or four jobs in the EU every year. Since Brexit, I’ve done just one EU job in 7 years. Those jobs are still there, but now they’re going to artists who aren’t from the UK. The 90-day rule, and the visas you need, just mean UK musicians are not considered any more. It’s too difficult to employ them. I know so many people leaving the industry. We are doing severe, irreparable damage to the UK music industry, and it is the younger people I feel so, so sorry for.” 

    Chris and Sabina Allen-Kormylo make specialist hand-made instruments, hurdy-gurdys, from a workshop at the back of their house in Wales.  

    “We used to have about 30% of our business from EU customers,” Chris tells us, Now the phone never rings from them, ever. Why would you buy from us, when you might have to pay hundreds of pounds more just to have your instrument shipped to you? EU customers can’t even have instruments shipped to me for repair anymore, because you risk it being stuck in a warehouse at customs somewhere for weeks on end. That business is gone, and we just have to live with it.” 

    Watch musicians' stories.

    Sign the petition.

    Stand with us and tell this government to Face The Music.

  • Words by Phil Carey, Secretary of EM Wandsworth & Merton.

    This week, EM Wandsworth & Merton joined Marsha de Cordova MP for Battersea in Westminster to host The Business of Brexit: The Impact of Leaving the EU on Businesses in Battersea and Wandsworth.

    Marsha de Cordova introduced the discussion aimed at hearing how businesses in and around her constituency have been affected by Brexit, as part of the cumulative impact assessment that she felt was needed. She welcomed the commitment - from Sir Keir Starmer and David Lammy - to renegotiate our relationship with the EU if forming the next Government, but recognised that a key question would be the EU’s willingness to engage.

    Barbara Callender, Chair of EMWM, outlined what the branch had already established from its surveys of local business opinions in 2018 and 2021. 

    Sir Nick Harvey, CEO of the European Movement UK, condemned the madness of the UK having thrown away its unique special status. He highlighted the damage to the UK’s public finances: even a cautious estimate of lost economic activity pointed to a £26bn annual shortfall for the Exchequer, equivalent to 5p in the £ on Income Tax. The remedy, he stated, would have to be in three stages: the Government re-applying for accession to the EU; the EU being convinced in the UK’s commitment, and the public voting resoundingly in favour this.

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  • Lord Heseltine - 'Brexit has failed. The only way forward is with Europe.'

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  • The UK has rejoined the EU's science programme, Horizon Europe, as an associate member.

    We have been campaigning on this hard in the last few months, with thousands of our members and supporters signing our open letter and writing to their MP, whilst I myself have been pushing on this for years.

    The deal struck by Rishi Sunak has been a long time coming. We have been campaigning for months to urge the Government to solve the impasse over the Horizon programme. A deal is now done – but the long delays have cost the UK’s scientific community dearly.  

    Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal: 

    “After months of frustrating delay, this decision will be received with overwhelming approval – not only by UK scientists but by all who recognized the benefits of an ‘open’ community where collaboration has fewer impediments. The UK will be perceived worldwide as a better place to do science.” 

    Sir Fraser Stoddart, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry: 

    “When it comes to participation in Horizon Europe, the United Kingdom should be front and centre.” 

    Being on the outside of Horizon Europe for 2.5 years has done huge damage to our scientific and research community. As well as missing out on millions in funding, the reputational damage is incalculable. 

    UK scientists no longer had the chance to work with world-leading partners from all over Europe and beyond, on cutting edge projects to find new cancer treatments, clean up our water networks, tackle climate change and much more. It put the UK’s status as a global scientific leader under threat. 

    We’ve consistently called for the government to stop stalling and find a way back into the EU-wide funding and collaboration scheme. We can now start to rebuild links with our EU neighbours, and prevent UK scientists from being further hamstrung by our hard Brexit. 

    Michael Browne, CEO, Crowdhelix 

    "As a company whose business is to forge links between an international network of excellent researchers and innovating companies, we saw first-hand the tragic damage that Brexit and then failing to join Horizon Europe have done. Collaboration is the lifeblood of research and innovation, so we profoundly hope that this re-opens the door for the UK's researchers and innovators once again to the environments within which they were once doing so well." 

    I know first-hand the unique value to our scientists of these collaborative frameworks. I’ve worked on amazing multinational projects funded by Horizon Europe, with pooled science funds into a single vast pot to support discovery at scale. It’s uniquely powerful in the global science landscape. It pains me to think of the opportunities we have lost while the Government has dragged its feet in doing a deal that could have been completed months ago.   

    Dr Mike Galsworthy, Chair of European Movement UK, studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, before completing a PhD in Behaviour Genetics at King's College London. He is an expert on EU science policy and has written academic papers analysing EU science programmes. 

  • Thank you for expressing interest in writing your Will via our partnership with the Free Wills Network. We've processed your request and you'll receive more information soon about how to make your will and, if you choose, to include a gift to the European Movement as part of that process.

    Our partners at National Free Wills Network will be in-touch shortly.

    Thank you.

  • A new film, called ‘Brexit Dead Ringer’, released for the NHS' 75th birthday takes aim at leading politicians who lied about the health service to deliver Brexit in a film that is striking, bleak and utterly compelling.

    The film, produced by Apostrophe Campaigns for the European Movement, shows a man calling the NHS to book an appointment in a split-screen sequence calling back to one of the most memorable and disingenuous Vote Leave ads from the EU referendum.

    Vote Leave’s 2016 split-screen ad depicted overcrowded hospitals, with overworked staff drowning in paperwork alongside a parallel, imagined world where Brexit has magically turned the United Kingdom into a perfect utopia, thanks to an NHS with an extra £350m a week after leaving the EU. 

    The European Movement’s advert, released exclusively to The Independent, takes a swipe at the original “disingenuous propaganda.” Their film reminds viewers of those lies, showing us the reality of empty building sites and unanswered phones in place of the promised new hospitals and properly compensated staff.

    In the new rip-off split-screen, a man attempting to make a hospital appointment has his call quickly answered on one side of the screen, whilst on the other, nobody picks up. Instead, we hear the piercing, jarring and relentless ringing of a bright red phone.

    It sharply divides the false promises made by the Brexit campaign from the reality of post-Brexit Britain.

    The phone call made in the film goes through to ‘Extension 350’ (another dig at the £350m a week promise) before the camera pulls back to reveal that the phone is hanging on a paper-thin, fake wall, in an unused building site, with the promised funding nowhere to be seen.

    An answering machine tells him, “You’ve reached one of the hospitals built with the £350m a week for the NHS when we took back control.”

    The phone disconnects with, “Message box full, goodbye.”

    The caller is left with no response and no way to get help, appearing unsure why the fantasy he was sold hasn't come to pass; a voice-over tells us, "They want you to forget their Brexit lies. Don’t.”

    We are then delivered an urgent call to action: “Join the Battle for the Soul of our Country".

    Emma Knaggs, Interim CEO of the European Movement, said:

    “In 2016, the Leave campaign released a series of deliberately misleading adverts, spinning a fantasy of a well-staffed, well-funded NHS with near-empty emergency rooms populated exclusively by smiling, uninjured patients. They claimed Brexit would inject £350 million a week to spend on the NHS, building a new hospital every single week. It was a lie then, and it’s a lie now.

    “As we celebrate 75 years of our beloved NHS, the European Movement is the only organisation with the courage to call out the deliberate deception and propaganda of the Brexit campaign that has pushed hardworking staff and our invaluable service to the edge.

    “They want you to forget their Brexit lies. Don’t. Don’t let them get away with it. We can't allow politicians complicit in these gross fabrications to sweep it all under the carpet and ignore their culpability — Brexit has been a disaster, especially for healthcare, and everyone knows it.

    Decades of Brexit lies, cover-ups and scandal are finally catching up. Britain cannot thrive whilst crippled by Brexit. The European Movement is the only organisation with the courage, confidence and commitment to reverse the calamity of Brexit and win the Battle for the Soul of our Country.”

    Mike Galsworthy, Chair of the European Movement, added:

    The truth has always been that Brexit was a bonfire of public money and that, in fact, EU citizens were adding more to the supply side of the NHS than the demand side.

    “Without EU doctors and nurses feeling welcome here and with huge sums of money consumed by Brexit, our NHS is under huge strain.

    “The European Movement is the only organisation with the courage, confidence and commitment to call this out, reverse the calamity of Brexit and lead the country back to a place where fellow European nurses, doctors and carers feel fully welcome in our NHS and this country again.”

  • Brexit has pushed our NHS to the edge and failed our country. Now, they want you to forget their Brexit lies. Don’t.

    Here we breakdown the following 10 ways that Brexit has been a disaster for our NHS: 

    • less money to treat patients  
    • less money to pay NHS staff  
    • higher costs for medicines, equipment and energy 
    • shortages of doctors, nurses and care workers 
    • longer waiting lists and delays 
    • higher risks of medicine shortages 
    • more deaths from Covid
    • harder to prepare for a future pandemic 
    • exclusion from EU policies and programmes  
    • Brexit is bad for your health. 

    Less money to treat you and your family 

    Brexit has meant about £600 million a week less for spending on the NHS and public services - not £350 million a week more as Vote Leave dishonestly claimed.  

    That’s because Brexit has battered the UK economy. The Centre for European Reform estimates that the UK government is receiving about £40 billion less in tax revenue every year. The UK’s real net contribution to the EU was in most years about £10 billion.  So that means roughly £30 billion a year – or £577 million a week – less for the government to spend. 

    Meanwhile, the UK has spent about 20 per cent less per person on health than similar European countries over the past decade. That means more people die – for example, 9 per cent of people in the UK who had the most common type of stroke died within 30 days in 2019, compared with 6.2 per cent in Germany. 


    Less money to pay our hardworking NHS staff   

    Government Ministers, like the rest of us, clapped NHS workers as they saved thousands of lives during the pandemic. But you can’t live off applause. Now, junior doctors, nurses and ambulance staff have had to strike to fight for fair pay.  

    But Brexit means the coffers are empty. Without Brexit, NHS employees would have had more room for manoeuvre. 

    Whether it is beds and the best care for patients or decent pay for staff, the NHS desperately needs funds – and Brexit means there’s just less money there. 

    Higher costs for medicines, equipment and energy  

    Brexit – by adding costly red tape to trade with neighbouring countries and because of the fall in the value of the pound – has made inflation worse in the UK than it needed to be. Brexit is partly why the UK in May 2023 had the highest annual inflation rate in the G7, at 8.7%, while inflation in the eurozone had dropped to 6.1%. 

    So, because of Brexit, everything the NHS buys is costing more than it needs to,.  

    Whether that is medicine, food or energy.  

    Runaway inflation also adds to the need to pay staff more, while meaning there’s less money around to do that. 

    Finally, one of the policy remedies for high inflation is raising interest rates and this is happening in the UK. But borrowing becoming more expensive – partly because of Brexit - will raise the cost of capital investment in the NHS, making it more difficult to provide new hospitals and other health infrastructure. 


    Shortages of doctors, nurses and care workers 

    Brexit has made it much more difficult for the NHS to recruit staff from Europe. 

    A November 2022 survey by the Nuffield Trust estimated that there are 4,000 fewer EU doctors working in the UK than if we had stayed in the EU. This has particularly affected crucial specialist areas like heart surgery and anaesthesia.  

    Meanwhile, the number of nurses and midwives coming from the EU to work in the UK dropped by around 90% between 2015 and 2022.  

    There were in March 2023 112,500 NHS full-time equivalent vacancies in England alone, with vacancy rates reaching 10% for nurses. The number of staff the NHS actually needs to recruit is even higher, at an estimated 154,000 – some personnel are not recruited because, partly thanks to Brexit, there is no money to pay them.  

    Vacancies that are being filled are often taken up by doctors and nurses from developing countries that can ill afford to spare them. The Royal College of Nursing has called this “unsustainable and potentially unethical”. 

    And these are vacancies in a system that even if fully staffed has far fewer doctors per capita than most EU countries: England has 2.9 doctors per 1,000 people and would need an extra 46,300 to reach the average of 3.7 across the 22 EU states that are members of the OECD.  

    Even if the government delivers on its promises to train more home-grown doctors and nurses, that would not feed through into fully trained and available staff for many years.  

    Dentistry has not been spared by Brexit. The number of EU trained dentists registering in the UK has halved since the referendum. This is a big part of the reason why many patients no longer have access to NHS dentistry at all. 

    Care workers are mostly not employed by the NHS but the 165,000 vacancies in 2022 in the care sector – which has long relied significantly on EU nationals - mean more patients need to be kept for longer in hospital beds needed by others, further lengthening waiting lists. 


    Longer waiting lists and delays 

    The funding and recruitment crises made much worse by Brexit are having a disastrous impact on the NHS’s ability to provide care when people need it.  

    The waiting list for treatment in England alone is at a record 7.4 million, with half a million added in the five months to April 2023.  

    Macmillan Cancer Support estimates that at least 100,000 people across the UK have had their lives put at risk over the last decade because of delays to tests or treatment for cancer. Brexit is not the primary cause of that. But it is making it harder to put it right and to save more lives. 

    The President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine estimated 500 people were dying a week this winter because of delays to ambulances and in A and E.  


    Medicine shortages  

    Brexit is making the UK more vulnerable to shortages of medicines. 

    The Brexit-related fall in the value of sterling has made all imports – including medicines - more expensive. The NHS therefore has to spend more of its pounds to get the same amount of medicine as before.  

    In addition, medicines are heavily regulated, some have a short shelf-life and protecting patients is crucial. So Brexit delays and additional red tape can cause particular problems. 

    There are global shortages and price rises in some medicines. The UK is likely to be harder hit by these than the EU, because Brexit has made supplying medicine to the UK more difficult. That could get worse if the belated post-Brexit introduction of full checks on EU imports leads to still more queues and delays. What is more, the UK will be outside the EU’s proposed stockpiling and anti-shortage measures. 

    The number of medicines for which the Department of Health and Social Care has had to agree to pay higher than the previous going rate in order to maintain supply has risen from around 20 a month before the referendum to consistently over 100.  

    Last but not least, leaving the EU’s huge medicines market saw the UK – and the NHS - start to lose out in the race to attract innovative new medicines and clinical trials. So UK patients could now be at the back of the queue for lifesaving new treatments. 


    More deaths from Covid 

    The recently opened Covid-19 public inquiry has already heard that Brexit weakened the UK’s pandemic preparation and response and contributed to one of the highest death tolls from in the world.  

    It is a myth that the reason the UK was one of the first countries in the world to roll out a vaccination programme is because of Brexit. It could have done that while still in the EU. 

    Contrary to government claims, the UK had by summer 2021 been overtaken by several EU countries in terms of numbers of people receiving vaccinations. By the start of 2023 the UK was behind France, Germany, Italy and six other EU states. 

    So when Boris Johnson trumpeted that Brexit had allowed the UK to save more lives from Covid, he was lying - again. 

    While details remain unclear, the collective purchasing power of the EU also seems to have meant it was able to obtain vaccines and protective equipment at cheaper prices. 

    Harder to prepare for a future pandemic 

    Brexit is hampering the UK’s ability to prepare for a future pandemic.  

    First, Brexit’s hit to the economy means less money is available for pandemic preparation.  

    Second, the EU has moved quickly to learn lessons by setting up a specialist agency for pandemic preparedness, pooling resources and expertise and by providing additional funding to reinforce health systems. The UK, again, is left out and left behind. 


    Exclusion from EU policies and programmes 

    Brexit meant the EU’s medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – and its 900 high-skilled jobs - moved from London to Amsterdam in 2020. EMA’s presence in London once attracted other jobs and many business visitors. Those have gone to Amsterdam, too.  

    The government now accepts that the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will in most cases simply cut and paste EMA decisions. “Taking back control”, this is not. 

    Post-Brexit, the government has yet to negotiate the UK’s participation in the EU’s € 95 billion Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, which has a major health component. Michelle Mitchell, CEO of Cancer Research UK, says that this “impacts patients who aren’t benefiting from potentially life changing innovations and treatments.” Meanwhile a King’s College London study found that: “If the UK is not involved in EU collaborative cancer research…patients with cancer will pay the price.” 

    For now, data is continuing to flow between the NHS and its EU counterparts. This is crucial for collaborative research, clinical trials, the movement of professionals and in dealing with cross-border threats like Covid-19. But UK divergence from EU data protection rules – proposed by the government – would be a big threat to these transfers of data, risking the further isolation of the NHS from other European health systems. 


    Brexit is bad for your health 

    Brexit is not only undermining the NHS’s ability to meet existing challenges, but also making those challenges bigger, in many direct and indirect ways. 

    The less money there is for the government to spend on the NHS, the harder it will be to develop and maintain world-class primary care services. So more people will get seriously ill. 

    Brexit is a major factor in the cost of living crisis which has left many people unable to afford to eat healthily or to heat their homes in winter. Inequality and poverty are proven to increase the risk of ill health. 

    Inflation in food prices – especially fresh fruit and vegetables – has been particularly high. Between December 2019 and March 2023 food prices rose by almost 25 percentage points. Analysis by the London School of Economics suggests that without Brexit this figure would be 8 percentage points lower. 

    If people can no longer afford high quality, fresh, home-grown or EU products and have to replace them with lower cost processed foods, this will over time further damage public health and lead to yet more demands on the NHS.  

    Meanwhile, the government’s desperation to strike trade deals, even if that means allowing in food products from faraway countries banned in the EU, could put British farmers out of business and further undermine the quality of the British diet.  

    Obesity rates in the UK are already the highest in Europe, with over one in four people obese. The Soil Association has pointed to the risk that Brexit will make that problem still worse, with obvious implications for healthcare.  

    Brexit’s £40 billion annual hit to tax revenues is making it harder to provide adequate public services, including not only social care and mental health support but also public green spaces and sports facilities that help people to stay healthy.   

    The bottom line is that Brexit is damaging the UK’s economy, society and the physical and mental well-being of millions of British people. And it is the NHS – itself seriously weakened by Brexit - that will have to try to pick up the pieces. 

    Decades of Brexit lies, cover-ups and scandal have finally caught up. Britain cannot thrive whilst crippled by Brexit and the people responsible want you to forget their lies. Don’t. 

    Join the Battle for the Soul of our Country. 

  • Watch Brexit Dead Ringer, and:


    Here are ten ways Brexit has been a disaster for our NHS: 

    • less money to treat patients  
    • less money to pay NHS staff  
    • higher costs for medicines, equipment and energy 
    • shortages of doctors, nurses and care workers 
    • longer waiting lists and delays 
    • higher risks of medicine shortages 
    • more deaths from Covid
    • harder to prepare for a future pandemic 
    • exclusion from EU policies and programmes  
    • Brexit is bad for your health. 

    Decades of Brexit lies, cover-ups and scandal have finally caught up. Britain cannot thrive whilst crippled by Brexit and the people responsible want you to forget their lies. Don’t.  

    Sign up now to join the Battle for the Soul of our Country.

  • No problem. 

    Can you do just one more thing, and share our campaign so we can get more people on board?

    The more of us there are, the more pressure we can create to reverse Brexit.