British doctors hit back at Nigel Farage in no-deal Brexit row

Exclusive: The British Medical Association says it has a duty to be honest with the public on Brexit

Joe Watts,Alex Matthews-King
Saturday 18 August 2018 16:16
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What does a no-deal Brexit mean?

British doctors have hit back at Nigel Farage’s claims that they are scaremongering, arguing they have a duty to be honest with the people about the “real dangers” of a no-deal Brexit.

The British Medical association (BMA) also repeated its warning that the consequences of leaving the European Union without a deal would be “potentially catastrophic” for the NHS, after Mr Farage attacked them in a newspaper article.

He announced on Saturday that he will once again begin actively campaigning in British politics against Theresa May’s “fraudulent” plans for Brexit, due to the “deceit and treachery” of politicians and senior figures in British society.

In particular he singled out an exclusive report in The Independent about warnings from the BMA that a no-deal Brexit would be a “catastrophe” for the NHS, and dismissed it as “project fear”.

But responding today, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, told The Independent: “The consequences of a no-deal Brexit are potentially catastrophic – for patients, for the medical workforce and for the nation’s health.

“It is not scaremongering for us, Britain’s doctors, to be honest in warning about the real dangers – based on evidence – that crashing out of the EU could have on health services.

“We owe it to patients and the British public who have a right to be presented with the facts before having a final say on Brexit.”

Nigel Farage fears Brexit betrayal after talks

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Farage said the Brexit debate was deteriorating because of “a daily stream” of negative news stories about the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

He went on: “The latest example was the British Medical Association suggesting that a no-deal Brexit would lead to huge numbers of people dying.

“This baseless claim proves project fear is thriving. We need leadership.”

He also claimed people had stopped him in the street to ask when he was returning to politics, adding in his article: “Well, now you have your answer. I’m back.”

The former Ukip leader said: “It is now beyond doubt that the political class in Westminster and many of their media allies do not accept the EU referendum result.

“It is equally clear to me that, unless challenged, these anti-democrats will succeed in frustrating the result [of the 2016 referendum].

Jacob Rees-Mogg suggests a second Brexit referendum would be acceptable in clip from 2011

“Well, I’ve had enough of their lies, deceit and treachery. The time has come to teach them a lesson – one that they will never forget.”

Branding Ms May’s plans as “fraudulent”, he said he had decided to commit himself to the Leave Means Leave campaign, which is set for a relaunch, following discussions with its founders, businessmen Richard Tice and John Longworth.

His intervention comes as The Independent drives forward with its Final Say campaign for a new referendum on the outcome of Brexit – with more than 650,000 people now having signed the petition.

In a significant development in the drive for a new referendum, The Independent and the People’s Vote campaign are joining forces for a mass march through central London on 20 October.

The alliance will see the two organisations mobilise activists and media across the country to demonstrate the growing tide of opinion that a further referendum on Brexit must be held.

An exclusive poll carried out by BMG Research last week found that 48 per cent of the public would now back a vote on any deal struck between the UK and the EU – up from 44 per cent just four weeks ago. Just 24 per cent opposed the idea, down three percentage points over the same period.

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