Thank you for contacting me about medical scientific implications of leaving the EU.
Medicines and vaccines: The Government has made extensive preparations for the end of the transition period and this includes ensuring a continued supply of medicines and medical devices. In the event that no further agreement is reached with the EU, the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, has been clear that other arrangements will be made to transport vaccines manufactured overseas.
Scientific Links with Europe: The Government has been clear about the importance of seeking to maintain a close relationship with European partners in a number of different areas including science, R&D and Horizon Europe. The exact nature of any participation in EU programmes remains a matter for the negotiations and as I am sure you can appreciate, I would not wish to pre-empt the outcome of discussions. If no agreement is forthcoming, the Government has explained that it would implement new alternatives to address funding shortfalls. A new Discovery Fund will offer significant grants to early, mid and late-career researchers and additional funding will be available to support UK researchers to participate in European schemes open to third countries.
Galileo Satellite System: The United Kingdom is exploring the option of building its own satellite navigation and timing capability and will not participate in the EU’s Galileo Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) programme. The EU’s offer on Galileo did not meet the UK’s security and industrial requirements.
The Government is exploring new ways of delivering a programme for satellite positioning, navigation and timing to support the UK’s critical infrastructure, including national security and defence (in addition to the MOD’s secure communications satellites provided under the Skynet programme).
The Space-Based Positioning Navigation and Timing Programme (SBPP) will follow the work of the UK’s GNSS programme and will explore new and alternative ways that could be used to deliver vital satellite navigation services to the UK – including the use of satellites at different orbits.
I am confident that this programme will enable the UK to build on its thriving space industry to become a global leader in space navigation technologies, developing new opportunities for businesses in the UK and creating new highly skilled jobs.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP