Brexit: leaving no-one behind

Care home

​Tressa Burke on the implications of Brexit for those with disabilities and care services in Scotland

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6th September 2019 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

Disabled people face crisis with the very real potential for a no-deal Brexit, bringing with it the likelihood of medical, food supply delays and disruption to an already difficult care staffing shortage.

The coming months and what follows are therefore critical for disabled people who are extremely vulnerable and whose lives are already less equal, evidenced by abundant research. Disabled people are at risk of being left behind- without specific action.

Restrictions on freedom of movement after Brexit could prevent the UK recruiting enough care staff and health workers from abroad. Shortages in key medicine and equipment for many would be disastrous.

Previously MPs have warned that the loss of the European Social Fund would be very difficult for disadvantaged groups, including disabled people. The fund currently gives £500m a year to organisations in the UK that provide employment and training support for people who are often neglected by mainstream providers. 

Tressa Burke

Tressa Burke

Shortages in key medicine and equipment for many would be disastrous

Like austerity policies of the last 10 years, it seems that people who are already most disadvantaged will be hit worst if a deal is not struck.

The role of Glasgow Disability Alliance as a Disabled People Led Organisation (DPO) and of other DPOs has never been more important: DPOs ensure that the needs of disabled people are understood, supported and raised with Government and public bodies at all levels. This is not only so that basic needs can be met but as importantly, so that further crisis and problems are prevented which will cost more time, energy and resources in the long run. Disabled people need action now so that needs are met and to enable them to fulfil their potential.

GDA has over 5000 full members who are disabled people and disabled people led organisations. We also have a thriving network of Associate Members including people, partners and allies who support our aims! GDA offers a glimmer of hope and a lifeline for many.

Tressa Burke is chief executive of the Glasgow Disability Alliance.