You may have missed it, but yesterday evening, MPs voted against an amendment to the brexit bill to increase NHS funding by £350 million per week, which was brought about by Labour’s Chuka Umunna.
Among those voting against were Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, whom you might remember from The Bus, alongside Labour MP Gisela Stuart, who was under no pressure from her party to oppose the amendment. A special mention also goes to Kate Hoey of Labour, who you might remember cavorting around on the Thames with Nigel Farage.
In reality, a lot of us knew that the £350 million figure was a lie. It didn’t take a lot of analysis to figure out that the NHS is likely to become less well funded in a post-brexit UK because of three reasons:
1. As a less attractive and less open country for immigrants, we’ll see the NHS face increased problems hiring staff
2. As a less profitable country, we’ll have less tax revenue to play with than we otherwise would, in an absolute sense.
3. In a relative sense, with reduced immigration, our demographics will be such that we have fewer workers per pensioner than we do now, i.e. less tax revenue per pensioner.
Despite this, Dominic Cummings, director of Vote Leave, has previously said that the £350 million to the NHS pledge was probably what swung the vote to leave.
Again we see that for all the very valid problems of the EU, the bigger problems are much closer to home.