The British Medical Association (BMA) warned on Thursday that a no-deal Brexit is likely to increase the risk of pandemics of deadly diseases in Europe, potentially putting millions of lives under threat unless Brussels and the UK continue to work together to counter the spread of infectious disease.
In a briefing paper provided to The Independent, the BMA expressed concern that Britain and all EU member states will be at greater risk from various diseases if the UK leaves various EU health bodies, such as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The BMA said a hard Brexit will create “considerable uncertainty about the UK’s ability to coordinate pandemic preparedness,” and warned that difficulties in Brits accessing the EU healthcare system while abroad “will increase the likelihood of the spread of disease”.
Moreover, BMA Council Chair Chaand Nagpaul said the electorate should be allowed to overturn a no-deal Brexit, echoing calls by campaigners for a second Brexit referendum to be held, especially if talks fail.
“The BMA believes the public should have a final informed say on the Brexit deal and, to reject the notion of a ‘no deal’ given all the serious risks that such an outcome carries,” Mr. Nagpaul said.
Last month, The Independent launched its Final Say campaign and their petition has racked up over 600,000 signatures in a matter of weeks.
Some MPs and former cabinet ministers have thrown their weight behind the campaign, to the annoyance of Brexiteers, but the government has downplayed the probability of a second vote, claiming the public have already voiced their intentions via the 2016 referendum.