Reports have indicated that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is one of the front runners to replace David Cameron as Prime Minister.
Hunt is ‘seriously considering’ competing for the position on a ticket pledging a second Brexit vote.
This will not necessarily find favour with all Conservative voters, as the majority chose to support leaving the EU.
Nonetheless, considering Hunt’s health credentials, it seems rather inevitable that he would support the EU.
The consensus of opinion is certainly that Brexit will put pressure on the NHS.
Hunt was a strong supporter of the Remain campaign prior to vote on the subject.
Hunt has stated that the UK should not begin the process to leave the EU “before setting the clock ticking, we need to negotiate a deal and put it to the British people, either in a referendum or through the Conservative manifesto at a fresh general election”.
In addition, the Health Secretary indicated that the terms of Brexit should be negotiated via a second referendum.
“The country has rejected the free movement of people as it currently operates. But the people have spoken – and Parliament must listen. Britain must and will leave the EU. But we did not vote on the terms of our departure.”
Under Mr Hunt’s plans, the UK would negotiate what has been described as a ‘Norway plus’ option.
This would effectively mean that the UK gains “full access to the single market with a sensible compromise on free movement rules”.
Hunt has already indicated in a TV interview that a run for the top job in British politics could be on the cards.
“I am seriously considering it. Nominations close on Thursday lunchtime. But what I want to do now is start making an argument as to what we do next as a country. This is a big, big change and, you know, if we get it right we can succeed.”
The impact of this on the NHS remains to be seen, with there being no guarantee that Hunt will be successful even if he does decide to run for Prime Minister.
Certainly Hunt would be considered a rank outsider, with Theresa May expected to ultimately fill this position.
Many healthcare professionals would probably see the departure of Hunt as a positive thing, as there is no doubt that the Health Secretary’s tenure has not been a popular one.