Friday 31 January marks the beginning of the UK’s departure from the EU as it enters the Brexit transition year of 2020. During this period the UK will still follow most EU law in the same way as it does now as a Member State, so in practice there are not expected to be many changes from January 31.
For the NHS, this means that no-deal planning is winding down: centralised stockpiling will be managed down over the next four months, alongside the National Supply Disruption Response function which has now been stood down. Regular communications between the government, industry and trade associations on Brexit will continue, however.
The focus on both UK and EU sides is now on defining their negotiating objectives and how phase two of talks will progress from March onwards. If the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill (WAB) passes, staff and patients won’t need to do anything differently after Brexit Day. (The changes will come a year later, from Friday 1 January 2021. The upcoming negotiations will determine what these changes will be.)
The Lords EU Committee recently published a 100-page report on the ramifications of the WAB.
GP teams are asked to continue to monitor guidance from DHSC and to encourage your non-British EU staff to apply for settled status. Further information is also available from NHS Employers.