MPs who claimed the NHS would receive £350m extra a week after Brexit have voted against an Article 50 amendment that would have compelled the government to prove whether the promise was true.
The pledge, which has been consistently shown to be false, was made by hard Tory Brexiteers during the referendum debate. Vote Leave’s head strategist, Dominic Cummings, has admitted that without the £350m NHS promise his campaign would not have won the referendum.
During the referendum debate Boris Johnson repeatedly made speeches in front of signage that said “Let’s give our NHS the £350m the EU takes every week”, while Micheal Gove defended the sum, saying “we actually give more than £350 million every week to the EU”.
Despite the promises the pair, along with a host of other MPs who backed the pledge, voted against the amendment tabled by Labour MP Chuka Umunna, which was voted down by 337 votes to 288.
The amendment would have forced the government to publish a report showing how NHS spending will be affected by Brexit.
Umunna said: “In our democracy it is in this House that (MPs) are held to account for the promises and things they say to the people.
“These people will never be forgiven if they betray the trust of the people by breaking their promise to do all they can to ensure that the £350million extra per week for the NHS is delivered.”