Pharmacy Minister steps down over Brexit vote

Pharmacy Minister steps down over Brexit vote

March 26, 2019

Steve Brine, MP for Winchester, has stepped down from his role as the minister with responsibility for pharmacy.

Last night (25th March 2019), a key amendment that will allow MPs to vote on a series of motions on Brexit was put to the House of Commons in a bid to break the current political deadlock. Along with a number of other Conservative MPs, Mr Brine voted in favour of this amendment – and against the Government.

In his resignation letter, Mr Brine said: “I was not prepared to vote against that… so the honourable thing was to leave the Government tonight and vote accordingly.” He also indicated that he had enjoyed his time as Public Health Minister and “will carry on some of that work from the backbenches”.

Whilst we await news of Mr Brine’s replacement, PSNC will continue to have dialogue with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England, and we will stress the importance and urgency of the upcoming community pharmacy funding negotiations.

PSNC Chief Executive Simon Dukes commented:

“Over the past year we have made considerable progress in rebuilding a constructive working relationship with Government, and as Minister, Steve Brine had been central to that. He regularly expressed his support for community pharmacy in Parliamentary statements and beyond, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as an MP on pharmacy and public health matters.

Given the extraordinary situation in Parliament at the moment it is unclear when another minister might be appointed, but as soon as an announcement is made we will begin the urgent task of building a collaborative relationship with them. I will also today contact the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to restate our ambition to work together collaboratively and to stress the need to take forward our discussions on the future of community pharmacy without delay.

We had been expecting a negotiating mandate from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS England before Easter and hope that this will still be the case.”

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