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Society sets out priorities for the future relationship between the UK and the EU

Published: 04 Feb 2020 in Press releases

The British Pharmacological Society welcomes the recent speech by the Prime Minister and the Government’s commitment to warmth, cooperation, friendship and exchange as the UK moves forwards following its exit from the European Union. We have published our view on the negotiation priorities as the UK moves into this next phase.

Just like trade, scientific progress and health security are global ventures. The Society welcomes the opportunity to deepen and expand the UK’s global connectivity with the goal of fostering innovation, delivering better health outcomes and meeting global challenges. As part of this, it is imperative that the UK uses the upcoming negotiations to secure critical science and health relationships with the EU.

Education, science and innovation are rightly recognised by the Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship. We call on the Government to prioritise these areas for the ultimate benefit of scientific advancement and patient health.   

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, the Society’s President, said:
 

We are clear that that science and health must be a top priority as the UK negotiates its relationship with the EU after Brexit, and clarity on key issues must be sought before the transition period is allowed to expire. This includes agreement on maintaining close ties with European research and scientists, and maintaining the health security of UK and EU citizens.


On continuing strong links with European research and scientists, the Society welcomes the announcement of the new Global Talent visa and is also calling for:
 
  • the strongest possible association with Horizon Europe
  • continued participation in the Erasmus+ scheme
  • a welcoming and simple UK immigration system, including for skilled technicians
  • appropriate alignment with the new EU Clinical Trials Regulation
On maintaining the health security of UK and EU citizens, the Society supports calls by the Brexit Health Alliance that securing a strong health security partnership between the UK and EU should be a negotiation priority, including access to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

The Society has also highlighted pan-European systems that are critical to ensuring patient safety. We are calling for continued access to systems that support the safe use of medicines such as EudraVigilance, the European Network of Centres for Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance and the Internal Market Information (IMI) alert system, which enables the exchange of information regarding doctors’ fitness to practise across the EU.
 
Read the Society’s position on the future relationship in full