How we can protect patients approaching the end of Brexit transition
The Brexit Health Alliance highlights the key agreements that are required to protect patients as part of the UK’s future relationship with the EU, when the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
The Brexit transition period will finish at the end of 2020, at which point the UK and EU’s relationship will be governed by the signed EU Withdrawal Agreement and a potential free trade agreement (FTA).
FTA negotiations have continued over the summer and autumn, but little progress has been made, with time pressures and red lines on both sides limiting potential for compromise. As such, the potential for a non-negotiated outcome or a ‘light deal’ is emerging more strongly.
In this briefing, the Brexit Health Alliance highlights the key agreements that are required to protect patients as part of the UK’s future relationship with the EU from 1 January 2021. It also lays out the considerations required to protect patients in the case of a non-negotiated outcome.
With no agreements in place on these issues, the adjustment for the NHS and sector more widely will be significant and could affect the health and wellbeing of patients and citizens.
The BHA is calling on the UK government to:
- redouble efforts to reach a deal that protects patients, the continuity of supply of medicines and healthtech and medical research, especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
- urgently clarify arrangements to support patients, healthcare providers and researchers in the event of FTA talks being unsuccessful and allow sufficient time for preparations across the sector.