Midwives give their support for second vote on Brexit
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has added its voice to calls for a second referendum on Brexit.
The RCM follows the Royal College of Nursing and the Prospect and TSSA unions in backing the campaign for a "People's Vote" on the final deal obtained from Brussels.
The organisation's chief executive Gill Walton said the UK's ability to fund improvements in healthcare and to train and recruit NHS staff would be hit by Brexit.
Ms Walton said that just 33 midwives had arrived in the UK from Europe over the past 12 months - compared to "hundreds" in previous years - contributing to a fall of 201 in overall numbers.
"At that rate, there will be none left around 10 years from now," she said.
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"This loss inescapably that means the maternity care we can offer all women suffers, and the pressure on all maternity staff gets worse: the very opposite to what was promised to voters back in 2016."
Ms Walton said that around 3,500 more midwives were needed in England alone, but that the supply had already been "choked off" by Brexit.
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Labour MP Angela Smith, a supporter of the People's Vote campaign, said: "It's becoming clearer all the time that Brexit is too big a deal to be decided by Parliament alone.
"The 65m people of this country must have their voices heard as well."
Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesman Tom Brake said: "Since the Brexit vote, the number of European nurses and midwives coming to work in the UK has fallen through the floor, while newly qualified European medics are leaving in their droves. It is deeply troubling."
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