Ben Bradshaw

Working Hard for Exeter

Blog

On dermatologists

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Dermatology is one of the specialisms that is particularly dependent on doctors from other EU countries. Is it not becoming clearer by the day, whether on the staffing crisis in the NHS or the threat to our pharmaceutical industry highlighted by the Health Secretary in his letter today, that the extreme hard Brexit being pursued by the Prime Minister is disastrous for our NHS? What are the Minister and the Secretary of State doing to pull the Prime Minister back from that damaging course?

Mr Speaker

Order. In relation to dermatologists is, I think, what the right hon. Gentleman had in mind.

Mr Dunne

I cannot tell the right hon. Gentleman precisely how many of the excellent dermatologists come from the EU, but I can tell him that, since the referendum, 562 non-UK EU doctors have come to work in the NHS.

 

On Tarriffs

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

More than 80% of the fish caught around the south-west coast and 30% of our lamb is exported straight to the rest of the EU, yet under World Trade Organisation rules, that produce would face very high tariffs. What guarantees can the Minister give that our fishermen and our agricultural industry will not face tariffs or any other barriers if we leave the European Union?

Mark Garnier

This is all part of our negotiations with the European Union. It is an ongoing process, which will hopefully reach its end by March 2019. The United Kingdom Government are very keen to secure a deal with the European Union that sees no change whatever for businesses. We want as smooth a transition as possible into independence from the European Union, and the interests of fishermen down in the south-west are as important as those of everyone else.

 

On Euratom and the EMA

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

The Prime Minister says that she wants help in building consensus for sensible policies. There are majorities in this House to stay in Euratom and in the European Medicines Agency, so why does she not do that?

​The Prime Minister

As I referred to in answer to the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn), membership of Euratom is inextricably linked with membership of the European Union. As we leave the European Union, we will be leaving Euratom, but we will be looking to put in place a similar relationship with Euratom, just as other countries around the world that are not members of the EU have access to the movement of scientists and materials and to Euratom’s standards. We recognise the importance of this matter, which is why a Bill on this subject was in the Queen’s Speech.

 

On the European Court of Justice

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Does the Foreign Secretary agree with the Chancellor and the First Secretary of State that we shall need a transitional period of at least three years during which we will remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice?

Boris Johnson

No. Neither the Chancellor nor the First Secretary of State has said any such thing.

 

On Mosul

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Following the comments from the Scottish nationalist spokesman, the hon. Member for Dundee West (Chris Law), does the Secretary of State agree that the crucial difference between the actions of the British and coalition forces on the one hand and Daesh on the other is that we go out of our way to minimise civilian casualties, while Daesh does exactly the opposite? At a time when one of our colleagues is being hideously bullied and threatened over her vote in favour of the action against Daesh, do we not need to send a clear message that this House was absolutely right to take the decisions to take military action against Daesh, both in Iraq and in Syria?

Priti Patel

The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to say that we did the right thing, and we will continue to do the right thing by standing up to those poisonous ideologies and the conduct of those awful groups around the world. The liberation of Mosul speaks volumes about the sacrifices that the people in that community—and those who fought against Daesh—have made.

 

On House Building

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Will the Secretary of State congratulate Exeter’s Labour council on building more council homes and housing association homes in the last 10 years than all the surrounding Conservative districts put together? What more can he do to encourage those rural councils to provide more homes in their market towns and villages, instead of plonking their developments on the edge of cities such as Exeter in unsustainable urban sprawl?

Sajid Javid

I would like to see all councils playing an active role in getting more homes built in their area. It is to be welcomed when councils work with private partners to deliver more homes themselves. To make sure those homes are in the right place, local people should be involved in formulating the local plan and then the neighbourhood plans.

 

On School Cuts

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Will the Secretary of State confirm that protecting per-pupil funding from next year does nothing to reverse the cuts that are leading schools in Exeter to lay off teachers and staff now? What assessment has she made of the impact of raiding her own capital budget on vital improvements, for which many schools in my constituency will now have to wait longer?

Justine Greening

The funding I have set out is indeed for 2018-19, which is when the national funding formula will be introduced. In relation to capital, I simply believe that we can make better use of our budget. Significant funding has been set aside from the sugary drinks industry levy, and we have been able to retain that additional money despite the fact that receipts from the levy were slightly lower than we originally expected. I hope hon. Members welcome the fact that I am therefore pushing that to the frontline.

 

On Trade

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

8. What recent discussions he has had with food exporters in the west country on safeguarding tariff-free access to EU markets. 

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (George Eustice)

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, I have a number of leading west country food manufacturers in my constituency, including Falfish and Rodda’s cream, both of which are successful exporters. In addition, we are working closely with trade organisations, such as the Food and Drink Federation, to understand the needs of the industry. We have been clear that we intend to put in place a new partnership with the EU, which will include a comprehensive free trade agreement.

Mr Bradshaw

The Minister will know that 80% of west country fish and 30% of our lamb is exported straight to EU markets, free—currently—of tariffs and other barriers. Those food producers will be extremely concerned by the comments today of the International Trade Secretary, who appears completely relaxed about the prospect of leaving the EU with no deal. Does the Minister agree with him, or with the Chancellor, who said that this would be a very, very bad thing?

George Eustice

As the right hon. Gentleman will know, the UK has a significant trade deficit in food and drink products with the EU, so the EU needs access to our market as well. We have a significant deficit of around £18 billion a year, and I believe it is in the EU’s interests, therefore, to secure a free trade agreement too.

 

On Cabinet

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

T2. Is“thick as mince, lazy as a toad and vain as Narcissus”an appropriate description to use for a fellow Cabinet member? If hard Brexiteers in our Government are falling out in that way, how on earth can the Secretary of State expect our European Union partners to take our negotiations seriously?

Michael Gove

The right hon. Gentleman, I am sure, is aware that we are working well together in government—[Laughter]—and I do not recognise the description he just gave as fitting any Member of this House.

 

On Referendum Funding

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

1. What discussions she has had with the commission on allegations of illegal funding during the EU referendum campaign. 

Bridget Phillipson (Houghton and Sunderland South)

The commission has published two reports that include its assessment of the rules on campaign funding for the EU referendum. The commission has also completed investigations of issues with a small number of campaigner spending returns, none of which related to impermissible donations. It is continuing to consider issues with some campaigners’ spending returns, in line with its published enforcement policy. The commission publishes the outcome of all investigations on its website once investigations have been completed.

Mr Bradshaw

Can my hon. Friend confirm—or, if not, ask the Electoral Commission—whether it has received allegations of illegal financial funding from Russia to elements of the leave campaign?

Bridget Phillipson

The commission is aware of media reports that allege that there could have been Russian involvement in the EU referendum. These cover a wide range of alleged activities that are beyond the commission’s remit. Any allegation with evidence that a registered campaigner accepted impermissible donations from Russia would be investigated in line with the commission’s enforcement policy, but I am sure that officials from the commission would be more than happy to meet my right hon. Friend to discuss this matter further.

 

On the Church of England

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

But would not growth in the Church of England be easier if it moved on from its cruel and outdated approach to both clergy and laity who are in same-sex relationships? Will the right hon. Lady tell the bishops that simply kicking this issue into the long grass for another three years, as the General Synod agreed last week, is just not acceptable?

Dame Caroline Spelman

It is important to see in balance the progress that has been made by the Church. At the Synod, important decisions were made, including on tackling homophobic bullying in Church of England schools—the Church is the largest provider of education in this country—and on taking steps to ban trans and conversion therapies; that was voted on in the Synod. The fact that the Church is making progress in this area is hopefully an indication of more to follow.

Commons Interventions July 2017

On dermatologists Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab) Dermatology is one of the specialisms that is particularly dependent on doctors from other EU countries. Is it not becoming clearer by the...

My latest Express and Echo colummn is now available to read online here.

My Latest Echo Column

My latest Express and Echo colummn is now available to read online here.

My latest Express and Echo column is available to read online here.

My Latest Echo Column

My latest Express and Echo column is available to read online here.

On EU Nationals

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

The Prime Minister does not seem to understand that the election has changed everything and that her extreme, damaging Brexit is dead, so why is she making an offer that, as it affects British nationals living on the continent and EU nationals here, is far less generous than the offer that the EU made to us just two weeks ago?

​The Prime Minister

There is no “extreme Brexit” that we have been talking about. There is no hard Brexit and there is no soft Brexit; what we want is the right deal for the United Kingdom. I remind the right hon. Gentleman that over 80% of people who voted in the recent election voted for parties that were committed to taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union. We have made a fair and serious offer; I believe it is a generous offer. There is one way in which it is different from the offer that the European Union has made, and that is in relation to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. When people voted in the referendum last year, they voted to ensure that we stopped the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice here in the UK.

 

On Brexit

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

All the five business organisations to which the Secretary of State refers have come out against the Prime Minister’s extreme and damaging Brexit. What is he personally doing to ensure that the Prime Minister not only hears what they are saying, but listens to it?

Greg Clark

The right hon. Gentleman will know that the five business organisations have put forward a sensible set of principles to govern the transition and the shape of a final agreement. Those suggestions seem very sensible. Part of the point of engaging with business, as I do rigorously and frequently, is to ensure that that voice is heard.

 

On NHS Shared Business Services

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

May I commend to the House the record of the debate I secured in November 2011, in which I warned the Government in terms about the very poor record of SBS and urged them not to part-privatise what had been an excellent NHS service? Ministers said at the time that the new contract would save £250 million. Will the Secretary of State now tell the House how much this scandal has cost, rather than saved, the taxpayer? Will he apologise both to the staff and the patients affected?

Mr Hunt

The costs are in excess of £6 million, and we are seeking to recover as much of that as we can from the company involved. I know that the regime in the Labour party has changed, but to try to turn this into an issue of privatisation when under the right hon. Gentleman’s own party’s Government—and indeed, during his own time as Health Secretary—we had problems at Mid Staffs that were squarely in the public sector is wholly inappropriate. This is about proper assurance of what is going on in the NHS, and both sides of the House need to learn the lessons.

 

On Leveson

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

The Secretary of State asks us to judge her on her record, which I will happily do. So when will she keep the promises that were made to the victims after the Leveson inquiry, announce Leveson 2 and implement section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013, which was passed almost unanimously by both Houses and, disgracefully, has still not been implemented by the Government?

Karen Bradley

We have had a consultation on the next steps regarding the second part of the Leveson inquiry and section 40, and I will publish the responses to that consultation. As Secretary of State, there is a process I need to go through in order to take anything further. We need to remember that the Leveson inquiry was in 2011. Many things have changed in that time. We have to think about how best to support local press and have a free, fair and vibrant local press. I will look at all those points when I consider the consultation responses.

Latest Commons Interventions

On EU Nationals Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab) The Prime Minister does not seem to understand that the election has changed everything and that her extreme, damaging Brexit is dead,...

If you don't want the South West to become a one party state in a Conservative landslide you need to vote Ben Bradshaw in Exeter. Delighted to have Exeter City star & player of the year, David Wheeler saying as much in his Express & Echo column today: Link

Vote Ben4Exeter

If you don't want the South West to become a one party state in a Conservative landslide you need to vote Ben Bradshaw in Exeter. Delighted to have Exeter City...

My personal manifesto to the people of Exeter - read online here.

My Latest Echo Column

My personal manifesto to the people of Exeter - read online here.

I always predicted that Mrs May, despite her public statements to the contrary, would call an early election. With a working majority and no discernible public clamour for an unnecessary early election, she is acting, as always, in the interests of the Conservative Party, rather than those of the country. If an election is approved by Parliament, I shall relish the fight. I shall be campaigning on my record as MP for Exeter and the sole opposition voice to the Conservatives in the Westcountry. It is vital for the health of any democracy to have an effective opposition, particularly at a time when the Conservative Government is pursuing a damaging hard Brexit and our public services are facing their worst crises in a generation.

General Election Statement

I always predicted that Mrs May, despite her public statements to the contrary, would call an early election. With a working majority and no discernible public clamour for an unnecessary...

On EU nationals in the NHS

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

It will take many years for the doctors the Secretary of State has just talked about to come on stream, and we have a workforce crisis in the NHS now, partly because of the cuts the Government made in the last Parliament, but also because of their irrational pursuit of the hardest of Brexits. He could do something very simple today to address this crisis in the short term, and that is to announce that all EU nationals who do vital work in our NHS will be able to stay when we leave the European Union.

​Mr Hunt

The one simple thing the Government are not going to do is refuse to listen to what the British people said when they voted on 23 June. We will do what they said—it is the right thing to do. However, the right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to highlight the vital role that the around 10,000 EU doctors in the NHS play in this country. I can reassure him that the number of doctors joining the NHS from the EU was higher in the four months following the referendum result than in the same four months the previous year.

On Russia

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

Are the Government or any other public agency in Britain investigating whether laundered Russian money was channelled to any individuals in either the leave campaign or the Trump presidential campaign? Is the Minister aware of any other investigations?

Simon Kirby

I make it clear that I am not aware of any connection. It is right and proper that the FCA and the NCA have been watching that issue for some time. It is a confidential matter; if there is new information, I am sure they will consider it.

On President Trump

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

But what damage is done by fantastical and ridiculous outbursts like those levelled at GCHQ by President Trump? Will the Foreign Secretary assure the House that our invaluable intelligence relationship with the United States is not compromised by the current incumbent of the White House?

Boris Johnson

The damage done by such remarks can be likened to that of a gnat against a rhinoceros or an elephant. They will not make any difference to a fundamental relationship that is, as I say, of great international importance. As for the assertion that there was some sort of collusion by GCHQ to bug the presidential candidate, I think that has been accurately described as absurd and ridiculous.

On HIV treatment

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

I congratulate the hon. Member for Finchley and Golders Green (Mike Freer) on securing this debate, on his all-party group’s excellent report and, indeed, on all the work he does on HIV and AIDS. I draw attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests and declare an interest: I am a trustee of the Terrence Higgins Trust.

The hon. Member for Finchley and Golders Green is absolutely right, as is his report, on the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 passed in the previous Parliament. I am sure the Minister has read not only his APPG’s report but the Health Committee report that we published last year on public health in general and the impact of that 2012 legislation on the delivery of public health, and particularly the delivery of sexual health and HIV services across the country.

The hon. Gentleman is right that in our report, we identified a number of problems and challenges with the new landscape and commissioning structure. We heard from people up and down the country in evidence—HIV/AIDS organisations, those who work in sexual health, consultants and virtually everyone else—that ​the area that has been hit most negatively by the Health and Social Care Act and the changes in commissioning arrangements are HIV services and sexual health services more generally. We all have our own ideas of why that might be the case. Although the jury is still out about the decision to pass the responsibility for public health to local authorities, there were concerns expressed at the time of the Health and Social Care Act—some of us warned the then Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley—about the potential impact of giving local authorities the responsibility for HIV support and other sexual health services, but I am afraid those concerns were not listened to. I hope the Minister will explain to hon. Members and to the country at large what monitoring the Government have been doing on the impact of the Act on services and what measures or action the Government will take as a result of anything they find.

Dr Poulter

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman. Does he agree one the challenge is the fact that local authorities are now commissioning the provision of health services in complete isolation from many of the other HIV and associated services? That is very different from our general understanding of public health at the core of the Act—it is a fault.

Mr Bradshaw

I completely agree with that point. The different commissioning responsibilities for different bits of sexual health and HIV and AIDS are all over the place. On top of that, although the Government can, with some justification, claim to have protected NHS spending in cash terms if not in real terms, they cannot claim to have done that when it comes to public health, which has taken significant cuts and will continue to take significant cuts over the next few years. Of course, those cuts are being imposed on local government. As the hon. Gentleman and other hon. Members know, local government faces huge financial challenges across the piece. There is also the threat of the withdrawal of the ring fence on public health funding in the next two or three years. In our report we made it clear that we thought that was a risky move indeed.

I do not want to repeat a lot of what was said by the hon. Member for Finchley and Golders Green, who made a comprehensive and excellent speech, but I hope the Minister will explain to us what monitoring the Government are doing on the impact. What will they do in response both to the concerns raised and the recommendations of the all-party group report and our Select Committee report to address the problems? We have known about them for some time—our report is now more than a year old.

The news about PrEP is very welcome, but will the Minster clarify the timing of the commencement of the trial? While we are on the subject, another potentially welcome development is the big fall-off in HIV presentations or positive tests at some of the London clinics in the past few months, which some people suggest may be to do with the availability of PrEP. Can the Minister tell us whether she has made an assessment as to whether that is the case, in which case it is a promising development indeed?

Finally, one of the things that concerns me is the plight of older people living with HIV and AIDS. Around a third of the people in Britain now living with HIV and AIDS are over 50. About 60% of them live at ​or below the poverty line. When many of them were originally diagnosed, they did not expect to have a long life expectancy, but they are still here thanks to the fantastic treatment and care that has been invented and developed, which has not only helped to keep people alive but enabled them to lead lives of reasonable quality. Back when they were diagnosed, they may have been less cautious about spending their money to get by at that time, and now they find themselves hopefully with many years stretching ahead and no more means at their disposal, so there is a particular challenge when it comes to older people living with HIV and AIDS. That will require the Department of Health to work more closely with the Department for Work and Pensions. Some of the people that my charity—the Terrence Higgins Trust—deals with face problems when it comes to benefits and benefits sanctions. Those sorts of things add extra pressure and misery to the challenges that people living with HIV already face.

On Article 50

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

In her letter and again in her statement today, the Prime Minister has made it clear that she believes it will be necessary to agree the terms of the divorce alongside the details of our future relationship with the European Union. If the other 27 come back in their reply and say that they want to agree the terms of the divorce first, including the issues of citizenship rights, our liabilities and borders, particularly with Northern Ireland, how will she respond?

The Prime Minister

We will go into a negotiation with the European Union about the best way to take these issues forward. I have been putting forward the case, as have other Ministers, that it makes sense from a pragmatic point of view to ensure that at the end of the two years, we have both of these decisions concluded, namely the withdrawal process and the future relationship. That is because I do not think it is in anybody’s interest for the UK to agree withdrawal, withdraw and go on to one set of arrangements, subsequently having to negotiate another set of arrangements that come into place at a later date. It makes much better sense—for individuals, for businesses and indeed for Governments—to conclude those two parts of the negotiation at the same time.

Commons Interventions 21st - 29th March

On EU nationals in the NHS Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab) It will take many years for the doctors the Secretary of State has just talked about to come on...

On the Bishops' Report

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

8. What discussions she has had with Church leaders on the vote by the General Synod to reject the bishops’ report on human sexuality; and if she will make a statement. [909032]

Dame Caroline Spelman

The majority of members of the General Synod voted to take note of the report of the House of Bishops, but the motion did not pass because a small majority was against it in the House of Clergy. Following that, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued a statement committing them to find a way forward.

Mr Bradshaw

Was it not very significant that it was the clergy, who are in the frontline of providing pastoral care to their parishioners, who voted down the bishops’ paper? Is it not increasingly untenable for our Church, which enjoys significant privileges in this country because of its established status, to continue to discriminate against its own members simply because they happen to be gay?

Dame Caroline Spelman

There was a narrow margin in the House of Clergy vote—93 in favour of taking note to 100 against—but a majority is required in all Houses. The way forward, as outlined by the archbishops, is that the pastoral oversight group led by the Bishop of Newcastle, the Rev. Christine Hardman, will now work on how to be as generous as possible to welcome all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people into the Church and to include them in the work of the pastoral oversight group.

On the fishing industry

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

The Secretary of State knows that our fish processing industry is more important to our economy than the catching sector, and that it is very dependent on imports. We export more than 80% of what we catch, so is not maintaining tariff-free and other barrier-free access to the single European market more important than sterile arguments about fishing rights that could result in battles or worse?

​Andrea Leadsom

I disagree with the right hon. Gentleman. Our fishing communities around the UK provide a vital vibrancy to local communities and the rural economy, so I do not agree with the suggestion that processing is somehow far more important. We will seek the freest possible access to European markets, but when I was in China last year I signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese worth £50 million, which included UK seafood. It will be very important for us to be able to find new export markets.

On a posthumous levy on estates

Mr Bradshaw

Will the Minister clarify the Government’s position on the idea of a posthumous levy on estates? The Chancellor ruled that out, yet we read in the newspapers that the Prime Minister slapped him down over that. Are the Government ruling it out or not?

Mr Dunne

I will not pre-empt anything in the Green Paper, and it is not for me to give the right hon. Gentleman any comfort on discussions that might or might not have happened around the Budget.

We recognise that the NHS and social care face huge pressures and that there is more for us as a Government to do. However, we can be confident that we have plans in place both to cope with the pressures that we currently face—winter, A&E pressures and delayed discharges—and to sustain the system for the future. We have a long-term plan in place through the “Five Year Forward View” and the efficiency work being undertaken and rolled out progressively this year. We have given extra funding to both the NHS and social care to support those plans, and we have plans to bring forward a Green Paper on social care. I am pleased that that was broadly welcomed and recognised by hon. Members and distinguished parliamentarians in the debate, and I am grateful for that support.​

Commons Interventions 2nd - 14th March

On the Bishops' Report Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab) 8. What discussions she has had with Church leaders on the vote by the General Synod to reject the bishops’ report...

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab)

I think there is a consensus in Westminster Hall, informed by multiple Select Committee reports that have highlighted the crisis in our health and social care system. My clinical commissioning group is facing a £40 million deficit. My local hospital, which is one of the best run in the country, is facing a £20 million deficit. It is obvious that that simply is not sustainable.

As other colleagues have pointed out, accident and emergency figures are deteriorating, waiting times are lengthening and there are increasing difficulties in seeing a GP. In Devon, we face controversial plans to close community hospital beds and to close a number of community hospitals completely. That is not an accident; it is the result of seven years of the most stringent restraint on NHS investment in its history, combined with 40% cuts to social care when we have a growing elderly population and increasing demand. The issue was exacerbated by the disastrous Lansley reforms in the Health and Social Care Act 2012—the biggest structural upheaval in the NHS’s history— implemented at the same time as maximum spending restraint.

As well as that organisational upheaval, we face a workforce crisis in health and social care, as the Chair of the Select Committee, the hon. Member for Totnes (Dr Wollaston) pointed out. That has been exacerbated by the uncertainty over Brexit. Until recently, the Government have appeared pretty oblivious to all that. The £2 billion extra in the Budget was welcome, but it is a drop in the ocean compared with the amount of money that is needed.

I welcome the commitment in the Green Paper to look root and branch at a sustainable funding solution for health and social care. I worry, however, that a Green Paper is often a euphemism for kicking an issue into the green grass. I would like to see a policy announcement or a White Paper. As colleagues have pointed out, we have had much cross-party support. One proposal was scuppered in the run-up to the last general election. I worry that to grapple with the issue in the second half of a Parliament is not sensible timing. Governments need to get a grip on the issue at the beginning of a Parliament so that there is maximum time for cross-party working to get something in place. I am not optimistic that the Green Paper will come to a conclusion.

We also need to have an honest conversation with the British public about how we fund health and social care. I share Members’ regret that the Chancellor seems to have ruled out any sort of posthumous levy on people’s estates. We need to look at all options, including the excellent sugar tax that was recommended by our Select Committee. It is already having a dramatic effect in getting drinks manufacturers to reduce the sugar in their products and therefore improve public health.

Finally, we would like the Government to end the uncertainty over EU nationals working here in our health and social care system. They could do that today when the Prime Minister stands up in the House and gives her statement on article 50. That would give a huge boost to morale and end the uncertainty. People are already leaving, and the system is not able to recruit. That workforce crisis will do more damage in the short term than anything else.​

Health and Social Care Speech

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab) I think there is a consensus in Westminster Hall, informed by multiple Select Committee reports that have highlighted the crisis in our health and social...

Liquid syntax error: Error in tag 'subpage' - No such page slug cookies