Leaving the EU: Health and Social Care — [Mr Peter Bone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:49 am on 19th March 2019.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley 9:49 am, 19th March 2019

The hon. Gentleman has much more leisure time than me, as he can still watch the BBC. I cannot remember when I last watched it, but I am pleased to join him in condemning its attitude. He makes a strong point. During the Brexit campaign, the health sector was dominated by the promise on the side of the famous bus, but equally, the remain campaign has lied through its teeth in saying many things. I have no real confidence that, if we were to have a second referendum, we would at any stage be able to have a debate free of exaggeration.

A constituent contacted me to say that he had been to a local hospital and was astonished to see that as a result of Brexit—although it has not happened yet—the ward was closing and had lost a large number of staff. I decided I would not let that go, but would find out the facts. I spoke to the matron who ran the ward in question. She said to me, “That is absolute rubbish. We have a full ward; this is a normal cycle of people’s leave and it has nothing at all to do with Brexit.” If we make Brexit arguments we need to ensure we have a rational and objective discussion, which so far we have not been able to have.