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 EU threatens the UK's right to run and reform health care


The UK is increasingly in the position where we cannot take action to improve health care without first tackling the ‘European’ question. The NHS is set to suffer as a result of the EU's extension of the Working Time Directive and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, if ratified, will add new burdens. Furthermore, it has not been realised, until now, that the European Union plans to establish this key public service as an area which national governments will no longer be able to control for themselves: a bombshell that Labour supporters have yet to discover.

The Bruges Group exposes how the future of the NHS will be directed at an EU level. Through successive treaties and recent legal cases, which have been consolidated in Articles 1.13 and 1.16 of Giscard's Constitution health provision is set to be run by the same organisation that brought us the CAP and the CFP.

Notwithstanding its final form, the Constitution appears set to carry further threats in the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and here grave questions are raised which Government lawyers and ministers have persistently refused to answer.

The NHS needs reform. But it needs a solid structural overhaul and not policy change by legal subterfuge. If some European states have a better Health service, it is not because of diktats from above: it is because of real diversity and the lessons of best practice learnt on the ground. The last thing the NHS needs is to see these alternative models homogenised in the name of standardisation - the socialist leg-irons of reform.

Tim Yeo MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Public Services, Health and Education in support of the Bruges Group's research argues that, “The success of our National Health Service should be judged not by its adherence to some theoretical model in Brussels or the Hague, but in the daily experience of those it serves.”