Welcome – we are a group of health professionals working in the UK. We are committed to securing our continued membership of the EU and alarmed by the prospects of Brexit.
We come from across the entire spectrum of medicine, nursing, and allied professionals. Although we are from the UK, many of us work closely with colleagues in other EU countries. For some of us, this means working with researchers asking the same questions as us, sharing our ideas and helping us to find solutions to common problems. For others, it involves working in networks with clinicians to find better ways of delivering care to patients. For a few, it involves working with the European institutions, helping to shape policy at European level on many of the issues that affect our health today. Yet we also include others who have much less involvement with colleagues elsewhere in the EU but simply see the huge benefits that are continued membership brings because of the ability of 28 countries, working together, to do things that none of us could do our own.
Our message is a positive one. We want to stay in because the EU brings us so many benefits for health and health care. Please do explore this website. Our many supporters describe the very many ways in which EU membership has made a difference to them. Some of them may surprise you. However, an important part of our role is to counter the vast amount of mythology that is being created by those who support Brexit. We watched with amazement at some of arguments that are being made, which bear no relationship to the reality that we have experienced.
And do remember, there are many reasons why the UK should stay in the EU. Our focus is on health but we are only one among many grassroots organisations campaigning to stay, covering almost every aspect of our life here in Britain, going right across the political spectrum. We hope that we will be able to persuade you, on grounds of public health, but this isn’t enough, please do look at their websites too.
Have a look at our blogs, on Public Health, Research for better health, and Health care. But remember that we have only scratched the surface of the many reasons why we, as health professionals, are so committed to continued membership of the EU. Maybe some of the issues we highlight could be addressed from outside the EU. But if it isn’t broke, why fix it? And if we did leave, we would need to start almost from scratch to renegotiate the enormous number of issues that tie us together. This could take years, and lead to virtual paralysis as we try to sort out the mess. And we don’t even know what Brexit would look like. None of its supporters seem to be able to agree and, given the apparent lack of any understanding that many of them have about how the EU works, it doesn’t inspire confidence. To take one example, they say the EU is undemocratic. Yet the legislative decisions are made jointly by the Council of Ministers – the people we elect such as the Health Secretary when he attends the Health Council – and our MEPs, who we also elect. They are only proposed by the civil servants in the Commission. It seems that supporters of Brexit live in the world of Yes Minister, where the Sir Humphreys make all the decisions and the politicians meekly follow. Well it doesn’t work that way in the real world. We can, however, be sure that whatever terms we negotiate will be a lot worse than we have now. After all, any one of the 27 member states can veto a new agreement, and many will have little reason to look on the UK generously after all this. The Prime Minister describes Brexit as a leap in the dark. But when you think about it for a minute, it is worse. It is a leap wearing a blindfold with our hands and legs tied together. It really doesn’t seem a very clever idea.