Neil Kinnock warns Jeremy Corbyn he needs to stop Brexit to save NHS

Posted On: 
18th February 2018

Labour grandee Neil Kinnock has warned Jeremy Corbyn he needs to put the brakes on Brexit or force Britain to stay in the single market to save the NHS.

Neil Kinnock piled pressure on the Labour leader by linking the EU with a public service close to his heart
Credit: 
PA

The former Labour leader issued a stark warning about the future of the health service and its dependence on EU membership for survival in an interview with the Observer.

His plea for intervention came after 20,000 Labour members emailed the party urging them to present a clearer stance on Brexit earlier this week.

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Mr Corbyn has promised to respect the result of the EU referendum and to support leaving the single market.

But Lord Kinnock piled pressure on the Labour leader by linking the EU with a public service close to his heart.

“The truth is that we can either take the increasingly plain risks and costs of leaving the EU or have the stability, growth and revenues vital for crucial public services like the NHS and social care," he said.

"Recognising that, we should stop Brexit to save the NHS – or, at very least, mitigate the damage by seeking European Economic Area membership.”

The peer was furious that top Tory Boris Johnson had used the NHS as a vehicle to justify leaving the EU.

“Even contempt for ‘experts’ cannot obscure the evidence that the Johnson-led Brexit vote has already damaged and will inflict future harm on the NHS,” Lord Kinnock said.

“Meanwhile – vitally - Brexit has already diminished, and will continue to depress, the revenues on which the NHS depends.

“If Johnson really wanted the extra NHS spending, which is sorely needed, he wouldn’t be using the issue as a ploy to feed his lust for the Tory leadership but would be working to end Brexit."