Diehard Brexiteer Andrew Bridgen has accused the EU of threatening British lives in the event of a no-deal Brexit affecting medical supplies.
The MP made the claim when he was asked by a German news channel if he was willing to risk lives for Brexit, in the wake of warnings that a no-deal situation could cause potentially life-threatening medical shortages.
Consultant neurologists Dr David Nicholl, who contributed to the Yellowhammer report, has been vocal in his warnings about the consequences.
WATCH: Government ‘stockpiling body bags’ says doctor who contributed to YellowhammerBut when asked about Dr Nicholl’s concerns, Bridgen was initially evasive, and dismissed the question as “project fear”. He was immediately contradicted by interviewer Tim Sebastian.
MORE: Government won’t be releasing full Yellowhammer documents as it’ll ‘concern people’, says minister“These are experts who are pointing out that there is a huge risk here,” said Sebastian, which prompted the bizarre reply from Bridgen: “‘Ex’ is a has-been and a ‘spurt’ is a drip under pressure.”
He carried on attempting to fend off the question by discussing the size of the UK pharmaceutical industry, before finally being pushed to say: “I will do nothing that risks lives.”
But he then went on to accuse the EU of being the ones to risk lives.
“I will not interfere with the massive amount of drugs manufactured in this country that are used by people on the continent,” he said. “We’re not threatening their lives. It would appear that the EU are threatening lives of people in my country. And I think the EU have misjudged the British character.”
But Sebastian pointed out that medical shortages would only occur if the UK crashes out without a deal.
Bridgen ignored this and said: “We’re in the European Union. We’ve got complete regulatory equivalence … at one minute past 11, when we leave, those goods were manufactured while we were in the European Union. What’s the difference between those goods the minute before we’ve left, the minute after, the day after we left. What extra checks would you like on those goods?”
Sebastian pointed out that as a third country the EU would add tariffs to them, but Bridgen claimed it would take the EU “a year or 18 months” to add tariffs or checks.
The MP’s statements are completely at odds with warnings and concerns raised by medical bodies over the last months.
Bridgen’s dismissal of Dr Nicholl echoes the response made by Jacob Rees-Mogg, who attempted to discredit the doctor by comparing him to disgraced anti-vaxxer Andrew Wakefield.
Rees-Mogg did this under the shelter of parliamentary privilege, which protects him from legal challenge for defamation.
Nicholl took to using Steve Bray’s megaphone outside parliament to demand that Rees-Mogg repeat his defamatory comments outside of the House of Commons.
Rees-Mogg eventually apologised after Dame Sally Davies, England’s chief medical officer, called Rees-Mogg’s comments “disrespectful”.