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Vexit on the cards as vanguards are told to swerve EU rules


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Thursday, 14 April 2016

Vexit on the cards as vanguards are told to swerve EU rules

Vanguards will be allowed to leave Europe ahead of the June referendum to avoid new EU laws that oblige them to use competitive tendering to buy vital services.

Announcing the move, Simon Stevens said: “We always said vanguards would be given permission to break some of the rules holding back local health economies.

“One of the freedoms they have enjoyed is exemption from the usual procurement rules, but with new EU legislation in place they may now worry that they won’t be able to award contracts to whoever they like.

“We are saying that if EU membership is holding you back, don’t wait for the result of the referendum, just leave now.”

Manchester and other areas given devolved powers by Westminster are also expected to be free to determine their own relationship with Europe.

Among other freedoms, vanguards are permitted to:

  • Adopt their own language if plain English proves too challenging
  • Suspend the laws of physics where these are interfering with the ability to build new care models
  • Co-produce their own constitution with other local stakeholders
  • Revert to imperial measures in areas where metrication still hasn’t caught on, such as Yorkshire and parts of the south west
  • Set up small agrarian communities forsaking electricity, motorised transport and hospitals
  • Impose their own contracts on junior doctors.

Several have already abandoned the Gregorian calendar in favour of “enhanced calendars”, effectively giving them several millennia in which to meet the objectives of the Five Year Forward View.  

“Vanguards get very few benefits from membership of the EU, but are subject to European regulations which make it very difficult for them to provide integrated health and social care, tackle the scourge of obesity or set up their own independent nation states,” Stevens said.

Vanguards that choose the so-called Vexit opt-out will need to show they made reasonable efforts to ask local people if they minded. The will also have until next week to elect a president, form a government and raise taxes.

A spokesman said NHS England was confident that the move would transform people’s experience of care, eliminate the NHS deficit and result in 500,000 more GPs by 2020.

Europe editor: Julian Patterson


Katherine Delargy
Katherine Delargy says:
Apr 15, 2016 08:59 AM

Thanks for brightening a dull rainy morning in London.

Ben Eveling
Ben Eveling says:
Apr 15, 2016 09:02 AM

Yes. Really quite amusing.

Ben Eveling
Ben Eveling says:
Apr 15, 2016 09:03 AM

Oh hang on, I've just realised it's all true, isn't it?

Anonymous says:
Apr 15, 2016 11:20 AM

Thank you for being so realistic and grounded in this virtual world of ours ! Oh Happy Day !

Tilla Brook
Tilla Brook says:
Apr 15, 2016 11:48 AM

500,00 GPs - have you been using the Hunt algorithm to come to this figure? Please show your working in the margin next time.

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Apr 15, 2016 12:21 PM

Tilla, I get all my information from Mr Hunt's office. I'm reliably assured that everything will be fine.

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Apr 15, 2016 02:36 PM

Thanks for the nice comments, folks.