Brexiteers ‘MUST honour referendum pledge on NHS cash’
- NHS England chief Simon Stevens demands more funding for health service
- Quotes the pledge on side of Vote Leave bus during EU referendum campaign
- Chancellor under pressure to find more money in the Budget later this month
Published: 04:58 EST, 8 November 2017 | Updated: 05:34 EST, 8 November 2017
Brexiteers must honour the referendum pledge to pump more money into the health service, the head of the NHS England warned today.
Simon Stevens said there should be no excuses for not increasing funding as he cited the Leave campaign's claim that cutting ties withBrussels could free up £350million a week.
Mr Stevens stopped short of specifically demanding the figure emblazoned on the side of the Vote Leave bus.
Speaking at an NHS conference in Birmingham, Simon Stevens said Britons had to 'look ourselves in the face' and decide if we are willing to pay for a 'properly funded' health service
Simon Stevens is to say there should be no excuses for not increasing funding as he cited the Leave campaign's claim that cutting ties with Brussels could free up £350million a week
But he insisted trust in democracy 'will not be strengthened' if Chancellor Philip Hammond argues in his Budget this month that economic turbulence means he cannot promise extra cash for the NHS.
He said Britons had to 'look ourselves in the face' and decide whether we are willing to pay for a 'properly funded' health service.
Speaking at the NHS Providers conference in Birmingham, Mr Stevens said: 'The NHS wasn't on the ballot paper, but it was on the Battle Bus.
'Vote Leave for a better funded health service – £350 million a week.'
He quoted Vote Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings' analysis that Britain would have voted to Remain in the EU without the pledge.
'Rather than our criticising these clear Brexit funding commitments to NHS patients – promises entered into by Cabinet ministers and by MPs – the public want to see them honoured,' Mr Stevens said.
Mr Stevens is addressing the NHS Providers conference in Birmingham today
'By the end of the NHS's next financial year – March 2019 – the United Kingdom will have left the European Union.
'Trust in democratic politics will not be strengthened if anyone now tries to argue: 'You voted Brexit, partly for a better funded health service. But precisely because of Brexit, you now can't have one.'
'A modern NHS is itself part of the practical answer to the deep social concerns that gave rise to Brexit.
'At a time of national division, an NHS that brings us together.
'An institution that tops the list of what people say makes them proudest to be British. Ahead of the army, the monarchy or the BBC. Unifying young and old, town and country, the struggling and the better off.'Let's