Number 10 warned against exiting EU pandemic warning system in wake of coronavirus
- Credit: PA
Downing Street and the Department of Health have clashed over retaining access to the Early Warning and Response System after Brexit in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Matt Hancock's department want the UK to retain membership of the EU pandemic warning system as part of post-Brexit negiotiations, but Downing Street have rejected the demands, the Telegraph reports.
Health officials believe leaving the EWRS would put public health at risk, pointing out that it has helped to coordinate the response to the virus, as well as SARS and the bird flu outbreak.
The online system, launched in 1988, ties together the European Commission, governments and key agencies to control threats to health across borders.
Niall Dickson, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation and its Brexit Health Alliance, warned that "public health is at risk in a number of areas if health is not made a priority in the forthcoming negotiations with the EU".
You may also want to watch:
He said last month: "Our worry is that all sides in these negotiations are under massive time pressures to agree a future trade deal and so there is a risk that the safety and health of patients and citizens across Europe could be overlooked."
David Frost, the UK's chief negotiator, is said to have been the one who personally endorsed the decision.
- 1 Empty shelves are partly down to Brexit - but Leavers won't admit it
- 2 Why Bristol is the street art city
- 3 The Spanish village with the mythical blue lagoon
- 4 Boris Johnson enjoys splendid isolation
- 5 A very nearly enchanted evening
- 6 Has something shifted in sado-populist Britain?
- 7 Telling the truth is now the only sackable offence
- 8 Boris Johnson: The sado-populist prime minister
- 9 Priti Patel - the poster girl for our poisonous politics
- 10 Cost of Brexit is already 38 times more than the money set aside for levelling up
A senior source told the newspaper: "The Department of Health pitched for continued access to the EWRS to be an objective of the negotiations, but it was blocked because they didn't want to be accused of seeking more than the basic Canada deal."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.