The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has contributed to discussions in Brussels on Brexit, health and trade at a seminar organised by the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), in partnership with the University of Manchester and the Economic and Social Research Council.
In the longer term, when the UK has formally left the European Union, the negotiation of new international trade agreements by the UK could have significant implications for both NHS healthcare and public health. The high level of health sector controversy surrounding recent negotiations of the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) demonstrated the complex issues that may lie ahead.
A report on TTIP by the London School of Economics and Political Science, commissioned by the RCP and European health organisations, highlighted the potential health impacts of such international trade treaties.
The Brussels seminar also provided an opportunity for Paul Belcher, RCP principal European adviser, to raise wider RCP concerns about the potential impact of Brexit on public health, research and the NHS workforce, reflecting issues raised by fellows and members in the RCP’s call for views on the EU referendum.