Impact of leaving the European Union on health and social care in Scotland


About the Inquiry


At its meeting on 28 November 2017 the Committee agreed to hold an inquiry into the impact of leaving the EU on health and social care in Scotland.

The Committee will consider what the NHS and social care in Scotland could look like post-Brexit with a focus on how potential risks could be mitigated and potential opportunities could be realised.

Looking to the previous work of the Committee and the letter from the Minister for UK negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, to the Finance and Constitution Committee, the following areas have been highlighted as having a potential impact on health and social care in Scotland:

o Data Protection
o Blood Safety 
o Food Compositional standards/labelling
o Reciprocal Healthcare 
o Funding
o Good Laboratory Standards
o Mutual recognition of Professional Qualifications 
o New Medicines and Clinical Trials
o Organs
o Procurement
o Public health
o Research and Life Sciences
o Tissue
o Tobacco
o Workforce

All of these areas could fall within the ambit of the Common Frameworks which are currently being discussed between the UK and the devolved nations.  The Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) agreed a communique setting out a series of common principles that underpin the work of establishing common frameworks.


The Committee held the following formal evidence sessions:-

6 March 2018

  • Panel 1:  Impact on People
  • Panel 2:  Impact on Professionals

13 March 2018

  • Panel 3:  Research and Clinical Trials
  • Panel 4:  Medicines and Devices

20 March 2018

  • Evidence session with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison


A call for views ran from 11 December 2017 to 25 January 2018

Read the call for views

Read the written submissions

On 18 April, following the evidence session on 20 March the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport wrote to the Convener.

Visits and Events

On 12 March 2019 our Convener Lewis Macdonald MSP chaired an event with our Deputy Convener Emma Harper MSP on the potential implications of Brexit on Health and Social Care including staffing, public health, medicines and medical devices.

You can listen to the podcast here.


On 19 June 2018 we received a response to our Report from Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport.

On 10 September 2018 we issued a follow-up letter to the Cabinet Secretary.

On 27 September 2018 we received a response to our follow-up letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport.

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