Borough MP Andy Burnham has joined with fellow former health secretaries to warn about the impact leaving the EU would have on the NHS.
In an open letter, Leigh MP Mr Burnham, along with Alan Johnson, Patricia Hewitt and Alan Milburn, said the “economical implications of Britain leaving Europe would be felt at the heart of our cherished national institution.”
Mr Burnham, who is the current shadow home secretary, and his borough counterparts Lisa Nandy and Yvonne Fovargue, have spoken out in favour of the remain campaign in recent months.
The letter reads: “We are proud to have served as health secretaries in a Labour government that oversaw record investment in our NHS.
“At a time of growing challenges – from an ageing population to new treatments to increasing demand for primary care – continued investment is more important than ever, as successive governments have acknowledged.
“That continued investment is now under threat. The economic implications of Britain leaving Europe would be felt at the heart of our cherished national institution.
“There is a dangerous lie being propagated by those wanting to leave the European Union that they will protect the NHS. The opposite is true.
“These are the same people who have campaigned for increased NHS charging; increased privatisation; and cuts to spending. People should not trust their motives or their maths.
“Leaving Europe will not mean more money for the NHS. It will mean less. Independent experts have repeatedly shown that leaving will seriously damage our economy with some suggesting Britain would enter recession. That means reduced funding for public services – strangling NHS finances, with potentially frightening consequences for staffing, waiting times, and levels of service care.”
The referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU takes place on June 23.