A leading charity has today moved to push disability issues higher up the EU Referendum agenda by publishing a report highlighting how disabled people could be affected by next month’s crucial vote.
Papworth Trust hope the report, entitled ‘The EU and Disabled People’, will inform debate and elevate the issues for disabled people to consider ahead of next month’s referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.
The report contains information about the relationship between the EU and disability in the UK as well as what the two rival campaigns are saying ahead of the vital decision.
Papworth Trust chief executive Vicky McDermott said: “On Thursday 23 June 2016, voters will be asked to decide whether the UK should either leave or remain in the European Union. This is a very important issue that will affect the future of the United Kingdom and everybody in it for decades to come.
“Although this is a decision that could have significant consequences for disabled people, almost nothing has so far been made available publicly about the potential impact of the vote on the 12 million people with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability who live in the UK. This report has been produced with this in mind in order to help inform the debate.
“What is clear is that there are significant pieces of legislation that affect disabled people which could be scrapped if we left the EU and replaced with something else.
“Equally, there are arguments that the UK treats its disabled people far better than any other Member State and so we could do a better job at legislating to protect disabled people, if we were free from the EU.
“It’s vitally important that disability is discussed before the vote, so that disabled people are fully aware of the impact on their lives of both results.”
The report can be viewed at http://www.papworthtrust.org.uk/EU-disability-report.