Opinion: Top 10 EU Myths: Part 1

Sephy Hallow's picture

1.      Health Tourism

Possibly the most emotionally-charged, and unfortunately unfounded, debates around the EU has been the concept of “health tourism”: EU and other migrants coming to the UK to leech off our already struggling public healthcare system. But is it true?

The honest answer is, there are definitely some exploits of the NHS by foreign nationals. However, the cost of this is absorbed by the international patients who pay – evidence from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of York, using government-commissioned research, shows that there are twice as many paying patients as there are so-called “health tourists.”

If you're confused by the deluge of numbers that have been banded about by press and government officials alike (many of which are wildly different), here is what the government's own studies have to say.

  • Britain has between 5,000-20,000 “health tourists” per year, at a cost of £60-£80m – 0.06% of the annual NHS budget

  • 18 reviewed NHS trusts showed a profit of £42m from foreign nationals paying for healthcare; there are approximately 530 NHS trusts in the UK, including 161 acute trusts, 56 mental health trusts, and 10 ambulance trusts


You Can Make A Difference in May

As you will be aware, this year is a big one for the party - we have the European Parliamentary elections coming up this May. The European parliament is vital to many of the issues we care about - from mass surveillance, copyright reform, international cooperation, to transparent trade agreements.

We will be running in these elections - but we need your help.

We need more people to join the excellent candidates who have already put themselves forward, so we can field the best team possible.

I would like to make another call-out to you, our members, but of course time is getting short!

If you, or anyone you know, have any interest in standing on behalf of the party in the upcoming EU Parliamentary election in May this year, please email me at [email protected] as soon as possible.  If you aren't quite sure, if you want more information, or even if you just have questions, do get in touch with me and I'll do everything I can to help.

There are of course many other ways for members like you to help at busy times like this;  from stuffing envelopes and pounding the pavements to responding to press requests, writing blog posts, talking with voters or even being an election agent for candidates.

We have our "CEEP" - the Common EU Electoral Programme as voted on by you, but that is not the end of the story. We will need to hear what you have and want to bring to the Euros.  We need our candidates to stand on their own platform, one they believe in and one they can be confident on.

This week: Looking forward to Physical NEC Meeting

Ed Geraghty's picture
This week's update will be as much about looking forward at the next few weeks as it will be looking back at the past one#1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">1.   One of the most important fixtures in the NEC calendar is the annual full-day NEC physical meeting, and this year will be no exception!  These physical meetings allow the NEC to set the tone for the coming term#2" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">2, and are incredibly productive as an in-depth dialogue between the various teams within the party#3" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">3.  This year's meeting will be held in Sheffield on the 18th of January.   As I mentioned in last week's post, work is still ramping up around EU Elections activity, expect to hear more information in the coming days.

ANTIPRISM : Fight Mass Surveillance

We are appalled to learn of the unprecedented surveillance of Internet users worldwide through PRISM and similar programmes. Blanket surveillance capabilities such as these, especially when implemented without citizens' scrutiny, seriously threaten the human rights to free speech and privacy and with them the foundations of our democracies.

BBC: Acta- European Parliament's Schulz criticises treaty

The president of the European Parliament has criticised the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta). On German television network ARD, Martin Schulz said of the treaty: "I don't find it good in its current form."

Mr Schulz's comments are a sign that Acta is in "real political trouble", according to Loz Kaye, leader of the Pirate Party UK. "One of the things that's very interesting is that now the Acta agreement is coming under fire from all sides," he told the BBC.

Monday, 13 February, 2012 - 01:00

MUSIC LAW UPDATES: Pirate Party makes European policy progress

The UK’s Pirate Party leader Loz Kaye told The Inquirer: “With the recent election victory in Berlin and now the Green EU Block adopting key Pirate Party positions, the movement continues to grow in its influence. This is because of the strength of our ideas. There are real challenges to digital rights world wide – site blocking, three strikes laws and the global intellectual property law treaty ACTA – and people are looking to us to stand up to the industry lobbyists. It’s vital that we work at an international level to combat these threats to the open web”.

Tuesday, 1 November, 2011 (All day)

EU Migration: Government's Evidence-based Policy Looking More Like Policy-based Evidence

Wednesday, 11 December, 2013 - 00:45

Theresa May decided this week to delay the publication of a report into EU migration, commissioned as part of the Government's Balance of Competences review, because the evidence did not fit her policies.

The Government hoped that the report would back up David Cameron's rhetoric around cracking down on EU migration ahead of the negotiations around the bloc's treaties in 2015 but instead reports show that that the study was broadly positive about the current freedom of movement rules.

Pirate Party UK's Jack Allnutt said:


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