Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Brexit and health

Brexit—an impartial view?

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 22 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2743
  1. David Barlow, emeritus consultant physician
  1. Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust, London SE1 7EH, UK
  1. davidbarlow{at}

Brexit divides the country, the main political parties, and families. One reason for this polarisation is the triumph of “opinion” over hard data. Remainers and leavers are both guilty of confirmation bias. In 1859 John Stuart Mill wrote that to understand a subject one should hear both sides of an argument.1 What the general public needs now, 160 years later, is a dispassionate, disinterested, objective assessment of whether genuine risks to health exist. The public needs it; we doctors expect it; The BMJ doesn’t …

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