Intended for healthcare professionals


No deal? Not a happy prospect for life after March 2019

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 14 November 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4770
  1. Niall Dickson, chief executive
  1. NHS Confederation, London
  1. Paul.Crompton{at}

Disruption to healthcare from a bad Brexit would risk lives, warns Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation and co-chair of the Brexit Health Alliance

For too long the government wasn’t prepared to consider the prospect of a “no deal” exit from the European Union. And it adhered to an unfortunate fiction that the implications could be managed relatively easily if it did happen.

The government may have had good tactical reasons for such a negotiating stance, but reality has now dawned: whatever your views on the UK’s departure from the EU, crashing out is bad news on a wide range of fronts—not least the welfare of patients in the UK and, indeed, throughout Europe.

Rising anxiety

This is real, not scaremongering. And, if we get it wrong, lives could be at risk. It’s fair …

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