Election 2017

Lib Dems warn 'extreme' Brexit will damage NHS

Nick Clegg Image copyright AFP/Getty

The Liberal Democrats have reacted angrily to Theresa May's claim that a badly managed Brexit would mean fewer resources for public services.

Former party leader Nick Clegg called her comments "utter cheek".

"It is Theresa May's extreme version of Brexit which will cause real damage to the NHS," he added.

The prime minister gave a speech earlier on Tuesday in which she stressed that she was the best person to lead talks on leaving the EU.

She also told the audience in Wolverhampton: "If we don't make a success of Brexit, we won't have the financial means to fund the public services on which we all rely.

"Our National Health Service - the institution which is there for us at the most difficult times - needs us to make a success of Brexit to ensure we can afford to provide it with the resources it needs for the future."

Mr Clegg responded: "By insisting on dragging the UK out of the single market, she has chosen a UKIP-style version of Brexit which is already causing a squeeze on public services."

"It's time she came clean that the risks are all of her own making. It is her choice to take this country in a dangerous and damaging direction."

The Conservatives have promised increases in NHS spending in real terms reaching £8bn extra per year by 2022-23, while Labour has pledged £30bn in extra funding over the next parliament.

The Lib Dems have committed to adding 1p in the pound on income tax to raise £6bn for NHS and social care services.

They are also arguing for a referendum on the eventual Brexit deal, unlike Labour or the Conservatives.

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