Liberal Democrats Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake says it’s ‘extraordinary’ that the Conservatives have not considered the possible consequences for the health service.
Up to one million pensioners could return to the UK after the deal is done, leaving the cash-strapped NHS facing an ‘astronomical’ bill.
And senior Liberal Democrat figures are criticising Theresa May’s government for not having a proper strategy in place as Brexit talks begin.
Tom Brake, the Lib Dems’ Brexit spokesperson, said: “It is extraordinary that Theresa May and at least part of her cabinet is pushing for the very most extreme Brexit, yet a year on they still aren’t preparing for the likely consequences.
“The EU has rejected the government’s proposal on citizenship, so as things stand British pensioners will no longer be entitled to remain in countries such as Spain and France after Brexit.
“If they do return to the UK, the cost will be astronomical, and that is before you consider problems such as the growing shortages of NHS staff as EU citizens working in the NHS leave.”
Last year NHS trusts in England posted a deficit of £886m at the end of the third quarter.
And an influx of fresh patients could stretch the already creaking health service to breaking point.
Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Norman Lamb added: “The NHS and social care are already at breaking point.