On Thursday voters across the UK will decide whether to remain in the European Union. The outcome of this vote could have profound consequences for the social protections we currently benefit from, including the future of health services across the UK.
One of the biggest achievements of the EU is the protection of key employment rights. Key benefits such as the right to paid maternity and paternity leave, the right to paid holidays, the right not to work more than 48 hours per week, and the right not to be discriminated against – all of these are guaranteed under EU law.
As well as considering the impact on your rights at work, I’d also ask you to look at what the leaders of the Leave campaign really think of our NHS before you make your choice on Thursday.
For me, the idea that the NHS could fall into the hands of people who sit to the right of even George Osborne and Jeremy Hunt fills me with horror.
Boris Johnson wants patients to be charged for using the health service. Michael Gove wanted greater privatisation. And, Nigel Farage wanted the NHS funded by an insurance model rather than by government.
The right-wing rhetoric of the Tory Brexiteers undermines the NHS as a public institution and diminishes the good work of the staff who work in it. I just wish that people like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage could just once acknowledge the immense contribution that immigrant workers make to our NHS, instead of demonising them at every turn.
The claim that more money would be spent on the NHS if we left the EU is one of the most deceitful, and the most contemptible, of this campaign – and is based on figures now proven to be fundamentally untrue.
I will be voting to Remain on Thursday – to protect workers’ rights and to protect our NHS from harm. I am asking you to do the same.