NEWS / Brexit

How to stop infectious diseases spreading after Brexit

Sustain member the Faculty of Public Health launch a blueprint on how the UK can collaborate with Europe to defend against infectious diseases after Brexit.

EU flag missing a star. Credit: pexels

EU flag missing a star. Credit: pexels

Currently the NHS responds to public health threats with the help of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC.) The independent EU agency’s mission is to strengthen defences against infectious diseases through surveillance, epidemic intelligence, scientific advice, microbiology, preparedness, public health training, international relations and health communication.

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) have written a blueprint for how this relationship can continue after the UK leaves the EU. FPH 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” will continue after the UK leaves the EU.

Prof John Middleton, president of 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.” FPH is proposing three potential options for the UK’s future relationship with ECDC in order of preference:

  1. Retaining our current relationship with ECDC
  2. Creation of a bespoke relationship with ECDC and other internal Health Security organisations
  3. European Neighbourhood Policy Agreements

Find out more about the work Sustain is doing to secure a positive Brexit for food, farming and fishing, including how to tell your MP that you want a say in future trade deals.



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Brexit: We stand at a cross-roads. When the UK leaves the European Union, will our leaders uphold good standards for our food, farming, fishing and trade deals? And will they agree a sensible deal with the EU? We need to make sure that they do!

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