The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will relocate from London to Amsterdam following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The new location was decided upon by European Commission and now the Agency has just over 16 months to prepare for the move and take up its operations in Amsterdam by 30 March 2019 at the latest.

Responding to the announcement UKIP’s health spokesperson, Dr Julia Reid MEP, said the following: “As per usual, the mainstream newspapers have been pushing their anti-Brexit agenda again. Following the announcement, the Metro ran with the headline, ‘London to lose 900 jobs as key EU agency moves to Amsterdam’.

“Well, according to the EMA’s own figures from last year, they employed a total of 885 people, of which, only 63 of them (7.12%) of them are British nationals – something that the Metro failed to mention. So, to claim that London is losing 900 jobs is rather disingenuous.

“As part of our decision to leave the EU, a very small handful of people will, unfortunately, lose their jobs, myself as an MEP included. Whilst it’s not ideal, we need to look at the bigger picture. Since we voted to leave the EU we now have around 300,000 more people in employment, which is something to be celebrated.”

“I think it’s also important to add, that whilst the EMA is based in London, these aren’t British workers we’re talking about here, these are officials and other servants of the European Union, and thus are exempt from paying national taxes on their salaries. Instead, these bureaucrats pay their taxes to the ‘benefit of the Union’.

“As for the wider implications: whilst the EMA’s relocation from London to Amsterdam is far from ideal, I don’t believe this will have much of an effect on the UK pharmaceutical sector in the long run. You have to remember that the UK was originally selected as the location for the EMA because of our expertise in the field of human and veterinary medicine and the relocation of the EMA will not change that.

“Moving forward, we now need to agree to a new regulatory equivalence and ensure that our own watchdog (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) has the resources to cope with the new applications from pharmaceutical companies for medical licences, in preparation for our exit from the bloc.”

ENDS