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09.06.16

Health Committee chair switches sides to Remain campaign

Leaving the EU would harm NHS finance, the chair of the health committee has said as she announced that she is switching sides to support staying in the EU.

Dr Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP for Totnes, made her decision just two weeks ahead of the Referendum on whether to remain in the EU.

Dr Wollaston, chair of the Health Select Committee and a former GP, told the BBC that she now thought leaving the EU would cause an economic crisis which would make NHS funding problems worse.

“The consensus now is there would be a huge economic shock if we voted to leave,” she said. “Undoubtedly, the thing that’s most going to influence the financial health of the NHS is the background economy. So I think there would be a Brexit penalty.”

Dr Wollaston also said that she could no longer support the campaign to leave the EU because its claim that leaving would release £350m funding a week for the NHS was “untrue”.

The latest BBC poll has 43% of voters in favour of remaining, 42% supporting leaving and 15% undecided.

Simon Stevens, the CEO of NHS England, said in May that he supported remaining, warning that an economic crisis caused by leaving the EU would be “very dangerous” for the NHS.

(Image c. Peter Byrne from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

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