The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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The Yvonne Watts Case: EU encroaches on health care

Press Release
For Immediate Release

Robert Oulds


The European Court of Juctice ruling delivered on Tuesday, 16th May regarding the case of Yvonne Watts, who because of the long NHS waiting lists had to go abroad to recieve treatment, has a greater impact than simply allowing one person to have the costs of a hip operation reimbursed. It paves the way for the EU to extend its powers into the area of health care.

Apart from the obvious decision regarding the reimbursement of medical costs incurred overseas, the decision also impacts on the areas below:

    Targets - the governments policy of targets has been rubbished, with the principles of "undue delay" and clinical need taking primacy over Ministerial decisions.

Most importantly, however, is that;

    The NHS becomes open to EU control - the British Government attempted to argue that the unique nature of the NHS meant that it was not an area in which EU was relevant has been overturned. This leaves the EU free to begin interfering in British health care matters. In short, NHS health care now has the legal status of any other commodity and service which can be bought and sold and will therefore become a subject for EU regulation just like every other transaction.

The Bruges Group originally exposed how the future of the NHS will be directed at an EU level. Through successive treaties and recent legal cases health provision is set to be run by the same organisation that brought us the CAP and the CFP.

Click here to read the Bruges Group's research on how heath care is steadily coming under the contro of the EU

Dr Lee Rotherham

Dr Lee Rotherham , expert on the impact of the EU on the NHS and author of the Bruges Group paper Health and the Nation says,

"This has long been on the cards. It's the Social Chapter all over again - Government policy is being overturned by the back door. This may well be good news personally for Mrs Watts, but it will cause mayhem for the NHS budget planners, who aren't in the best of shape right now."

Click here to obtain full details of the ECJ ruling