The EU regrets, but respects the UK’s decision to leave the EU. While the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and the UK remains the best possible outcome, the EU is prepared for a possible “no-deal” scenario in the area of public health, in particular on the crucial topics of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, as well as on food safety.
At a press conference today in Brussels, Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the Commission, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, currently also in charge of the Health & Food Safety portfolio, said: “Health and food safety are two areas which have an immense impact on citizens’ daily life, but also on the functioning of countless operators and businesses. This is why the Commission and the EU-27 have been working extensively for the past two years to face the challenge of a no-deal scenario. My message is simple: the EU and the Member States are there to tackle the most disruptive changes, and we will be ready to manage. Safety of medicines will remain unchanged and Member States and the European Medicines Agency are constantly monitoring the situation and liaising with industry to ensure availability of medicines in the EU. As regards pets, they will still be allowed to travel, but the conditions will change since new controls will have to be carried out at the EU’s borders with the UK”.
Pharmaceuticals were carefully considered throughout the preparation of the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. The European Medicines Agency has published a Q&A, prepared with the Commission and the Member States’ pharmaceutical authorities, on prevention of medicines shortages. Rules for citizens and businesses that need to get prepared for the movement of live animals and animal by products and transporters are available on the SANTE website.
The full speech of Vice-President Katainen is available online.