Let's see the £350m promised by Brexit campaigners for the NHS, say MPs

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at 2016.10.24
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Let's see the £350m promised by Brexit campaigners for the NHS, say MPs

Monday, October 24th, 2016 12:21pm

The NHS must get the £350m a week extra it was promised by Brexit campaigners, MPs have demanded.

More than 40 pro-EU MPs have written to Chancellor Philip Hammond to demand he signals the money will be made available for the health service in the Autumn Statement next month.

The controversial claim was plastered across the Vote Leave bus during EU referendum campaigning but since key figures have appeared to retreat from the pledge.

The letter to Mr Hammond has been organised by the Vote Leave Watch campaign, headed by the Labour MP Chuka Umunna.

It says: “In your speech to the Conservative Party Conference earlier this month, you said that the message of the referendum result had been ‘received, loud and clear’ by the Government.

“Members of the Government talk of the ‘mandate’ from the voters for Brexit.

“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.

“In just under a month, you will present your first Autumn Statement. We are calling on you to commit to increase national NHS spending by £350m a week – that is £18.2bn a year – as soon as this money becomes available by leaving the European Union.”

It added that anything else would be a “betrayal of the British people”.

The £350m a week pledge became a contentious issue during the EU referendum campaign. 

It prompted the MP Dr Sarah Wollaston to switch sides to Remain because, she said, the claim simply wasn’t true.

She said she had raised the issue with key Vote Leave figures and said they knew but used the slogan any way because it “got people talking.”

After the referendum, Iain Duncan Smith, a vociferous Brexit campaigner, said the £350m for the NHS, which would have come from the amount the UK paid to the EU for membership, had never been a campaign commitment. 

Mr Umunna said the 41 MPs wanted to make sure Cabinet figures like Boris Johnson kept the promises they made on the campaign trail.

He said: “The message to Philip Hammond is loud and clear – this Brexit Government will not be able to run away from the promises of Brexit campaigners.”

Sky News (c) Sky News 2016: Let’s see the £350m promised by Brexit campaigners for the NHS, say MPs

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Published at Mon, 24 Oct 2016 11:20:44 +0000

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