NHS doctors lobby the BMA to back a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal - People's Vote

NHS doctors lobby the BMA to back a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal

The People’s Vote campaign, joined by NHS doctors and other health professionals, will be lobbying the British Medical Association (BMA) conference in Brighton today (Thursday) urging them to vote in favour of a motion that calls for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.  

Doctors and activists, holding a skeleton with a sign saying “Still waiting on the Brexit dividend”, will hand out leaflets to delegates as they enter the conference venue. The leaflets will be mocked up to look like prescriptions, and will outline the threat Brexit poses to the NHS.

The People’s Vote campaign have also coordinated a joint letter signed by 22 doctors and NHS professionals so far, calling on the BMA to back a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.

If the BMA does vote in favour of the motion, they will join the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives as NHS unions backing a People’s Vote on the terms of Brexit.  


Dr Paul Williams MP, a GP and a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:

“We were promised that voting to leave the EU would mean piles of extra cash for the NHS, but instead the health service is already showing symptoms of a serious Brexit-related sickness. EU staff are leaving in ever-higher numbers, with lower numbers arriving to replace them.

“Whether you voted Leave or Remain, the Brexit deal on offer is very different to the one that was promised, especially for the NHS. That’s why the BMA should  join the growing movement to secure a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.”


Dr William H Sapwell, a BMA Accredited Representative who is proposing the People’s Vote motion, said:

“The Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives have both voted in favour of supporting a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, because they know that Brexit poses a serious health risk to the NHS. Now it’s time for the BMA to join them. That’s what my motion seeks to achieve, and I hope fellow doctors will join me in voting in favour of it today.”



Notes to editors

The text of the joint letter and the current signatures is here: 

As doctors in the NHS we hope this week’s gathering of the BMA make the right decision and back today’s motion calling for ‘the public having a final say on the Brexit deal’ in other words a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.

Medicine is, above all, an evidence-based profession and the evidence is in: we are not going to get the Brexit we were promised.

Brexit threatens the NHS with serious damage. We can already see the first signs of what could develop into a chronic problem; a staffing crisis as EU doctors and nurses leave the NHS and reduced buying power for medicines and equipment. When a ‘Brexit Dividend’ is offered as a cure and the government’s own figures show this to be snake oil it’s clear that the time has come for doctors to speak out. 

The BMA must join the Royal College of Nurses and the Royal College of Midwives in demanding a People’s Vote. A clear and united voice from those on the frontline of the NHS will ensure the call for a People’s Vote is too big to ignore.  

The BMA must do its duty and back a People’s Vote.


  1. Dr Clare Gerada, GP and former chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners
  2. Professor Martin McKee, European Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine 
  3. Professor Peter Selby, Professor of Cancer Medicine, President of the Association of Cancer Physicians
  4. Dr Stephen Bradley, General Practitioner & Clinical Research Fellow, University of Leeds
  5. Professor Louise Kenny, Faculty of Health & Life Sciences, University of Liverpool
  6. Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Primary Care Health Sciences, Fellow of Green Templeton College
  7. Dr Nicholas Hopkinson, Reader in Respiratory Medicine, Imperial College London
  8. Dr William H Sapwell, BMA Accredited Representative, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals
  9. Professor Simon Capewell, Clinical Epidemiology, University of Liverpool
  10. Professor Malcolm Macleod, Professor of Neurology and Translational Neuroscience and Honorary Consultant Neurologist
  11. Dr David Nicholl, Consultant Neurologist, Birmingham
  12. Dr Patricia McKenna, GP, Norwich, Norfolk
  13. Dr Elizabeth Hubbard, GP, Leeds
  14. Dr Dimitra Volanaki, Consultant General Surgeon, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals
  15. Professor Paul Aveyard, Behavioural Medicine, University of Oxford
  16. Professor Lindsay Thomson, Forensic Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh
  17. Professor Peter Day, Associate Professor and Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry, University of Leeds
  18. Professor Anne-Marie Rafferty, Nursing Policy, King’s College London
  19. Dr Jeremy Eve, Specialty doctor in Emergency Medicine, Bournemouth
  20. Dr Charles House, Consultant Radiologist, University College London Hospitals 
  21. Professor Rosalind L Smyth, Director and Professor of Child Health, UCL Great Ormond St Institute of Child Health
  22. Professor Robin Choudhury, Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Fellow of Balliol College