Alexander – NHS facing a £70bn Boris-shaped black hole

The National Health Service is facing a “Boris-shaped black hole” in its budget, the Open Britain campaign says today, as the Budget showed that the NHS will receive nearly £70 billion less after Britain leaves the EU than Vote Leave promised. 

The Budget released on Thursday suggests the NHS will receive an extra £3.4 billion in funding during the four years after Britain leaves the European Union – from 2019/20 to 2022/23. 

The Vote Leave campaign, led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, promised an extra £350 million a week for the NHS after Brexit, coming out of savings from the UK’s contribution to the EU budget. Over the same four-year period after the UK leaves the EU, £350 million a week would have added up to £72.8 billion of extra funding for the NHS.

This means that by Spring 2023, the NHS will have £69.4 billion less than the Vote Leave campaign promised. 

Commenting, Heidi Alexander MP, leading supporter of Open Britain and former Shadow Secretary of State for Health, said:

“Our NHS is facing a Boris-shaped black hole in its budget. He and his cronies promised the British people £350 million more a week for the NHS after Brexit. But now we learn the Government of which he is a member will only provide a fraction of that money. 

“As winter approaches, our National Health Service is already on life support. A fifth of doctors from the EU are making plans to leave, we face a shortfall of GPs, and hospitals are reeling from years of cuts.

“Boris Johnson needs to apologise for so cynically misleading the British people in the referendum. As the hollowness of his pledge becomes clear, and Brexit continues to damage our NHS, voters have the right to keep an open mind about whether this is really the best future for our country.”


Notes to editors:

This story is reported by the Independent:

  • In the Budget, the Government promised an extra £900m of NHS funding in 2019-20, as well as an extra £3.5bn in capital spending from 2017-2023. Assuming capital spending is spread evenly across the period, the NHS will receive £2.54bn of capital spending from 2019-2023. Combined with the £900m, this comes to £3.44bn extra funding for the NHS in the four years after Britain leaves the EU.

  • If the National Health Service received the £350 million per week extra funding promised by Vote Leave, it would receive an extra £72.8bn in funding during this same period.
  • Therefore, the NHS is facing a shortfall between what Vote Leave promised and what the Government are delivering of £69.36bn.