The NHS was of course an issue during the EU referendum campaign. However, whilst its logo sat on the side of the Vote Leave bus, there was hardly what amounted to a proper debate about the possible implications of leaving the EU for the health service in the UK. Now, almost two years on, we need to address what Brexit might mean for the NHS and public health. This is no easy task.
The EU has little in the way of competence over health policy per se. Rather, membership and, by the same token, non-membership make themselves felt via a variety of more or less indirect routes, whether the implications of free movement, or of European health regulations, or the general economic situation of the country as mediated by our relationship with our EU partners. And of course we remain unclear as to what form Brexit will take, which merely adds to the complexity of the task at hand.
This report, written by academics from the team at the UK in a Changing Europe, attempts to respond to the question of how Brexit might affect the NHS and public health more generally.Download Brexit and the NHS
The views expressed in this research paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative.