The SNP has renewed calls for an emergency extension to the transition period – as health leaders in England warn the NHS “will face disruption even if a deal is reached”.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the NHS Confederation has called on Boris Johnson to extend the Brexit transition period by a month to take the NHS out of “the immediate danger zone, and it will enable the NHS to continue to focus on fighting the pandemic without having to contend with disruptive changes brought about by a no-deal outcome”.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Health Spokesperson, Dr Philippa Whitford MP said:
“Boris Johnson’s plans for an extreme low deal or no deal Brexit pose a very real danger to the NHS and the health of people across the UK.
“With the UK facing a worsening covid-19 pandemic, soaring unemployment, and over a thousand lorries piled up at the border, it is crucial that the Tories ditch their reckless plans and agree an emergency extension to the transition period to protect the NHS and the economy.
“At this late stage, the only possible outcome is a very bad deal or no deal at all.
“Either would rip Scotland out of the EU, and the world’s largest single market, at the worst possible time – causing lasting damage to public services, jobs, businesses and the economy.
“Brexit creates multiple long-term challenges for the Health Services of the four U.K. nations, including the threat of workforce and medicine shortages.
“The Prime Minister must listen to NHS Leaders asking him to step back from the edge to prevent any health service being overwhelmed.
“Scotland has been completely ignored throughout the Brexit process and we now face the hardest Brexit imposed against our will by a Tory government we didn’t vote for.
“It is clearer than ever that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests and our place in Europe is to become an independent country.”