A UK Divergence Tracker in a Changing Europe published last week found that regulations on industries, including how medical side effects were reported, were moving away in the UK from EU standards. EU. Peter Foster, public policy editor for the Financial Times, said the EU had “gravity” and manufacturers were more likely to trust their standards.
However, Alex Balfour, CEO of Balfour Capital Group, argued that the claim perpetuated the belief that “Britain is hopeless and cannot survive without outside help”.
The UK in a Changing Europe tracker revealed that the EU had recently updated its ‘pharmacovigilance’ regulations so that they are now different from those in the UK, which were adopted by the EU before Brexit.
Writing in the FT on Thursday, Mr Foster explained that this difference “immediately bites into Northern Ireland”, which under the current Northern Ireland Protocol is regulated by both the UK and the EU. EU.
The protocol has become a sticking point for the UK’s post-Brexit freedoms, with successive Brexit secretaries seeking to renegotiate parts of it since the UK’s withdrawal.
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The main government and industry complaint is that the dual regulatory jurisdiction has delayed the movement of goods from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland and caused problems for vital supplies such as medicines.
An academic paper for the journal Therapeutic Advances in Drug Safety said the UK’s medical regulator was “now able to make sovereign regulatory decisions” to “help evolve the UK legal regime to meet future needs”. .
However, it was “only if [the changes] do not conflict with EU decisions as long as the Northern Ireland Protocol applies”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, a head of UK medicines distribution warned that deviating from EU rules would affect the UK’s access to globally manufactured medicines, as many find it profitable to manufacture drugs that meet the regulatory standards of a large market.
Martin Sawer, chief executive of the Healthcare Distribution Association, said of Northern Ireland: “If there is regulatory simplicity, it will give us access to more medicines, you know, and more health care. health in the future.”
Mr Foster said the difference in regulatory standards “begs the question of whether there is an advantage for the UK not to follow suit” and re-align with the EU.
He commented that “after Brexit, the regulatory juggernaut of the EU slipped away, leaving Brexiters on the sidelines”.
However, Mr Balfour replied in a mocking tone: “Poor Australia. Poor Canada. Poor New Zealand. Not part of ANY “mastodon”.
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He added that while Mr Foster ‘isn’t stupid’ he was ‘foolish’ to believe in ‘a form of 1950s ‘decline’ – Britain is hopeless and cannot survive without outside help’ .
Mr Foster replied that it was “ironic” that the so-called declinism of the 1950s “is in fact what underlies [the] fallacious belief in global Britain”.
He continued: “The reason to align with the EU is gravity. They are our neighbours. Our manufacturers are middlemen and rely on them. It’s just math, guys.
Another Brexiteer Twitter user said the UK has “many advantages over the Eurozone which will play out over time – world-class universities, a language, a legal system and an economy based on the knowledge”.
They said aligning with the EU again would be “the real step backwards” as it would “lead us into the hole of sclerosis the EU is facing”.
Mr Balfour added that he was ‘convinced the euro will implode in the next 2-3 years’ which would leave the UK ‘200% justified’.
Mr Foster told them to ‘look forward to the pot of gold when you reach the end of the rainbow’, which Mr Balfour described as ‘a little condescending’.
He went on to highlight the many UK companies that have been operating outside Europe for decades, including his own, commenting that “things are very different from there.
“Europe is not only weak; it is irrelevant and seen in terminal decline. And that doesn’t change anything. This is why Brexit was so crucial. We have options.