Responding to the proposed Brexit deal, Layla McCay, director of international relations at the NHS Confederation, said:
“We welcome the fact that UK and EU negotiators have reached a deal in principle and look forward to seeing the full details of the revised Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, and what this means for citizens and patients across the UK and the EU.
“A good negotiated deal will always be better than a no-deal and the risks that could present to patients and healthcare services, regardless of how much preparation we do.
“What we have seen thus far removes that uncertainty and ticks a lot of the necessary boxes. As details emerge, we will work with colleagues across the NHS, medical research, industry, patients and public health organisations, as part of the Brexit Health Alliance, to analyse the withdrawal deal in detail for what it means for patients, the NHS and its staff.
“Should this deal pass – something which is far from certain - it will only be the start of the process of determining the long-term relationship for the UK and the EU.
“In any future relationship we hope to see protections around people’s health and wellbeing being prioritised. This entails avoiding delays at the UK-EU border for continued supply of medicines and medical devices, maintenance of reciprocal healthcare arrangements, and continued co-operation on health security matters.
“It will be crucial that an early agreement is reached in this second phase.”