Unite: PM “parroting lies” of hardline Tory Brexiteers with claim “Brexit dividend” will pay for new NHS funding

Unite has accused Theresa May of “parroting the lies” of the hard Brexiteers in the Tory party, following her claim that £20bn of fresh funding for the NHS will be partly paid for by a Brexit dividend.

The Prime Minister today (June 18) announced an extra £384m a week by 2023 for the crisis hit health service.

May said the funding will come from increased taxpayer contributions, but refused to give more details on the rises until the autumn budget.

Speaking at the Royal Free hospital in London, May insisted that the new funding would also be paid from a “Brexit dividend” – a claim derided by one of her own MPs as “tosh”.

Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe rubbished the claim, which was also refuted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Jarrett-Thorpe said, “It is obvious to anyone that Theresa May is being held hostage by the Brexiteers in her cabinet and party, who are desperately looking for a way to make their vision of turning the UK into a deregulated tax haven seem advantageous to ordinary people when it will be anything but.

“May knows there will be no Brexit dividend for the NHS. On top of a nearly £50bn EU divorce bill, the government has agreed to continue paying into the bloc until 2021 and has promised to keep funding farming subsidies. Added to that is the economic costs of leaving the EU, which the government has acknowledged will make public finances worse – a figure the OBR has put at around £15bn a year.

“By parroting the lies of the hard Brexiteers in her party, May has shown exactly why the Tories cannot be trusted to deliver a Brexit that works for working people or run the NHS.”