To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on maintaining membership of the European Medicine Agency during the covid-19 outbreak and until a vaccine is found.
As of 31 January 2020, we are in the Transition Period during which the United Kingdom will continue to follow European legislation and European Medicines Agency (EMA) processes and decisions until 31 December 2020. As such any European Union centrally authorised medicines, including any COVID-19 vaccine, would also be authorised in the UK. We also continue to receive public safety information from the EMA and have firm links with the World Health Organization and other key international public health organisations working on this issue.
The UK is a world leader in preparing for and managing public health incidents and on 3 March the Government published its action plan to tackle the spread of COVID-19.
The Government will not be extending the transition period in light of the latest COVID-19 developments as both the EU and UK remain fully committed to the negotiations and agreeing a future partnership by the end of 2020. The Government is working to ensure that UK patients can access the best and most innovative medicines.