So that’s it. It’s Brexit – for better or worse. I’m not sure what I enjoyed least about the campaign, the bullying, the bribery or the bluster of Boris Johnson. I wonder whether the killer claim of the campaign was the warning from the Remain camp that, in the event of Brexit, house prices would fall. This might have been the deciding factor for many NHS staff currently unable to consider buying their own home close to their place of work. Who knows? After all, NHS staff are nothing if not altruistic and would be unlikely to vote based on venal self-interest.
The campaign has shown us politicians can work across party lines issues that interest them but divide the country. Why then, can’t they work together on an issue that divides them but unites the country – the NHS.
The Brexit camp made repeated claims that savings from EU contributions could and would be re-invested in the NHS. They also said they were a campaign group and not a government. Weasel words? This government, and the next, must recognise the decision made yesterday by the British people is not simply a mandate for Brexit but also for a vision of how any future savings from Brexit should be spent. The successful Brexit campaign pledged more funds for the NHS. This government, or the next, ignores that pledge at its peril.
This campaign, for all its shortcomings, has re-engaged the country with politics. Today and in the coming weeks let us build on that re-engagement. Contact your local MP. Tell them you want them to ensure a significant proportion of any savings from Brexit be re-invested in the NHS. Tell them also to put aside party politics, as they did in the EU campaign, to work together to secure the future of the NHS for the benefit of the people of Britain.
Andrew McHugh, manager of a GP surgery in Banbury, North Oxfordhire, England.
Medical practice director, Horsefair Surgery