Responding to the Nuffield Trust briefing Brexit and Coronavirus
, Layla McCay, director of international relations at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:
“Reaching a free trade deal is the right answer for everyone including patients in both the UK and the EU.
“If there is no deal and other agreements are not implemented, it will mean uncertainty and be potentially risky for patients and the health sector in the UK and in Europe.
“Failure will result in industry, the NHS, research organisations, public health and regulators having to make significant adjustment to prepare for the end of the year.
“Much of the impact of leaving the single market will be felt immediately – including important areas for responding to the pandemic that depend on a negotiated outcome.
“Areas affecting access to medicines, medical technology and patients’ rights to healthcare must be given much higher priority as negotiations enter a crucial final phase.
“It goes beyond the immediate issues at the border too as getting a deal will influence whether the UK can continue to access things like pandemic data sharing and flagship European science funding.”