To support the Government in delivering their commitments to improve health security and maintain the important and mutually beneficial collaboration with Europe on health issues, FPH has today launched a ‘blueprint’ to recommend how the UK could continue its relationship with ECDC after Brexit.
The ECDC is an independent EU agency whose mission is to strengthen Europe’s defences against infectious diseases. It provides the NHS with evidence for effective decision-making, helps to strengthen our public health system and supports our response to public health threats. It does so through surveillance, epidemic intelligence, scientific advice, microbiology, preparedness, public health training, international relations and health communication.
FPH welcomes the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s commitment to maintain current standards for health security post Brexit, commenting in an April 2018 article:
“As we’ve seen over the years with emergencies such as Swine Flu and Ebola, health transcends global boundaries and, as the negotiations move forward to agreeing the terms of our future relationship, improving health security will form an important part of our negotiating position.”
FPH further welcomes the Government’s commitment that the duty to ‘Do No Harm’, currently enshrined in Article 168 of the Treaty of Lisbon, which makes clear that “a high level of human health protection shall be ensured” in all policies and activities, will continue after the UK leaves the EU. We look forward to continuing to engage with and support the Government in realising its ambitions on health security now and as we leave the EU.
With this in mind, FPH is proposing three potential options for the UK’s future relationship with ECDC, listed below in order of preference:
- Retaining our current relationship with ECDC
- Creation of a bespoke relationship with ECDC and other internal Health Security organisations
- European Neighbourhood Policy Agreements
Prof John Middleton, President, FPH, said: “As the UK plans to leave the EU, it is vital to consider how the current measures that we have in place to protect the public’s health and mitigate global threats to UK and European citizens from infectious diseases are protected and enhanced. It is our hope that the ‘blueprint’ launched today plays a key role in informing these conversations, and we look forward to supporting the Government and our partners across the EU in their efforts to protect and improve post-Brexit health security.”
Notes to editors:
About the UK Faculty of Public Health (FPH)
FPH is a membership organisation for 4,000 public health professionals from across the UK and around the world, and is a registered charity. Our role is to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and national populations. We support the training of public health professionals and campaign to improve health policy in partnership with local and national governments.
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