I have never felt so passionate about anything in my life. The way the public have been treated over the whole Brexit shambles is not only humiliating, it’s exasperating and embarrassing. The world is laughing at the ‘Mother of all democracies’.
As a medical doctor, television presenter and passionate campaigner, I’ve spent the last 24 years of my life fighting the system. I’ve been a vocal advocate for minority groups, patients, carers and families, ensuring their voices are heard by those in power who make decisions.
I’ve campaigned vigorously to clean up our filthy hospitals, successfully lobbied to implement new-born screening for the life-threatening condition Cystic Fibrosis, fought to improve care for the elderly in our hospitals and care homes, pushed the Government to role out the PrEP trial to protect high-risk individuals from HIV and worked with school caterers to ensure that every child in a British primary school gets at least one hot meal a day.
These are extremely important and life-changing campaigns.
But the campaign we are now fighting – to ensure the democratic will of the people is respected – is now paramount.
Having spent three years commentating on TV about the way the Government and the Opposition have been handling the Brexit negotiations, I couldn’t sit and watch the wilful fragmentation of democracy any longer.
Campaigning for the Brexit Party in the North West has been exhilarating. I’ve never been so sure that what I am fighting for is right. There is palpable and tangible anger which the Westminster elite have failed to recognise. This anger and frustration unites people across the political spectrum and all social classes.
Rallies in Fylde and Chester were extraordinary. Speaking in front of 2,000 people who are cheering your every word and sentiment is unlike anything I have ever experienced. The messages of support on social media are overwhelming. The common theme amongst them is that people are relieved that they are finally being represented by candidates such as myself wiling to put their heads above the parapet and fight for them against the establishment.
The political class has done everything it can to thwart the will of the people. We’ve heard doom-laden scenarios touching every aspect of our lives.
One of the most outrageous weapons has been the use of false information about the availability of medicines after Brexit. I’ve read time and time again that we will run out of medicines, hospitals will close and lives will be at stake. It is nonsense and it is dangerous. It is causing fear and panic.
Although we will leave the European Medicines Agency, our medicines will continue to be regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MRHA), as they are now. We already conform to European standards and it is the interests of both the EU and the UK that we continue to have regulatory collaboration.
Big Pharma is not confined to Europe. It is global and flexible. Many pharmaceutical companies have footprints in the UK, EU and around the world. Seven of the top global pharmaceutical companies have a manufacturing presence in the UK.
The majority of our medicines are generic and these are made around the world in India, Japan, Switzerland, Israel and the US. India now makes a third of the world’s generics. By 2050 it is thought that India will make half the world’s medicines.
But what about cost? This is not an issue. If we do move to trade with the EU on WTO rules, medicines will continue to be tariff-free, as they are now.
There will also be added incentive for the MRHA and NICE to become more highly aligned and streamlined, so we can make the UK more attractive to the pharmaceutical industry. We can also carve out a global regulatory role with Canada, Australia and the United States.
In summary, patients’ lives are not at risk. This fear-mongering must stop. Fortunately the public are not stupid and can see through it.
As a doctor, I know the most important commodity you can have is trust. The people were asked a binary question. Politicians on all sides said they would respect the will of the people. The public took them at their word. 17.4 million people voted to Leave. They expected us to leave. We haven’t left. The elected representatives have lost the trust of the people. The message is clear, their time is over.
Next week will be a watershed when we vote with passion and history will be made.