DHSC communication on EU exit date

DHSC communication on EU exit date

March 26, 2019

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has issued stakeholder communications today (26th March) confirming that the Government has agreed an extension to Article 50.

If the Government’s Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons this week, the UK’s exit date from the European Union will be confirmed as 22nd May 2019. If the Withdrawal Agreement is not approved by the House of Commons, the legal default in UK and EU law is that the UK will leave the EU on 12th April 2019 without a deal.

DHSC is continuing work on its no-deal planning, now planning for the possibility of a no-deal scenario from 12th April 2019.

In a stakeholder communication, it said: “Please continue the work you are undertaking to prepare your organisation for leaving the EU without a deal and do not wind-down your contingency plans at this stage. You may need to make changes to stop your no deal plans coming into force on 29th March and re-programme preparations to be ready for 12th April.”

DHSC said it was grateful for the excellent engagement over the last few months and that plans were ‘well advanced’ as a result.

Guidance to community pharmacy teams remains the same:

  • Contractors should not stockpile additional medicines beyond business as usual stocks and should continue to report current shortage issues – e.g. to PSNC if a concession price is necessary;
  • Contractors should reassure members of the pharmacy team from other European countries that they have the same rights (including any current registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council) following the UK’s exit from the EU. Contractors should inform staff of the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme, which will remain open until 31st December 2020 in a no-deal scenario. Contractors should consider any potential impact on staff retention and recruitment; and
  • Contractors should complete the new Data Security and Protection (DSP) Toolkit before the end of March 2019 – PSNC has provided guidance here.

Additionally, Professor Keith Willett, NHS England EU Exit Strategic Commander, has recently issued an update following Parliament’s vote to extend Article 50:

Professor Willett’s Letter (20/03/19)

For further updates and information on the DHSC contingency planning for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit, visit the PSNC Brexit page.



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