Beattie responds to EU Parliament move on medicines

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Beattie responds to EU Parliament move on medicines

The Ulster Unionist Party Leader Doug Beattie MC has responded to the European Parliament’s approval of changes to EU law that means medicines coming from GB to Northern Ireland will not need additional labelling or testing, as was originally to have been the case under the NI Protocol.  

Doug Beattie said;

“This decision follows the announcement made by the EU last December and whilst it’s a step in the right direction there remains further work to do on protecting and maintaining the flow of medicines to Northern Ireland.

“When the protocol was introduced we were told that it could not be changed. We challenged that because we could see the very clear and obvious practical difficulties presented by the protocol in addition to the unacceptable Irish Sea border.

“Whilst others demanded the ‘rigorous implementation’ of the Protocol, the Ulster Unionist Party made our case at every possible opportunity and in meetings with the EU and U.K. Governments.

“In particular we made the case that the supply of medicines into Northern Ireland from the rest of our own country should never have been on the table in any negotiations between the U.K. and the EU. Nothing could better highlight the unacceptable nature of the Protocol than the situation we were faced with, with regard to medicines.

“These approved changes are further proof that change IS possible and that has come about by engaging with the EU and the British government.

“Whilst the latest position is much better than what it once was, some fundamental issues remain that require consideration. For instance Northern Ireland must continue to comply with the Falsified Medicines Directive but Great Britain does not and as a result there remains a real risk that the industry could produce separate packaging but which will not be compliant in the local Market. As a result some crucial packs could be discontinued to the relatively small market here in Northern Ireland.

“So whilst there has been some progress there remains work to do and that is why the Ulster Unionist Party will continue its campaign of engagement. We will continue to do that and work in the best interests of all the people of Northern Ireland.”