The UK Government states the EU doesn’t go far enough with their “non-paper” proposals to maintain flowing supplies of medicines. Instead, it’s seen as a concern not being taken seriously. A spokeswoman for the UK Government said that the plans of Brussels were inadequate to address the magnitude of the problem facing the region.
The spokeswoman said: “It is crucial that the people of Northern Ireland have access to the full range of medicines as all other parts of the UK.
“The solution the EU has set out today remains the same as the one they sent to us in late June – the EU has not addressed the issues and concerns that we have raised with them.
“The EU’s proposal was a welcome start, but it would be complex to operate, onerous and would not deal at all with those medicines, such as new cancer drugs, which under current arrangements must be licensed by the European Medicines Agency in Northern Ireland.
“That is why we have proposed in our Command Paper that the simplest way forward in order to avoid these problems in future is to remove medicines from the scope of the Protocol altogether.”
Lord Frost, the Brexit minister, has stated that he will look into triggering Article 16 of the Protocol to suspend the measures if Brussels does not agree to significant changes to the legal text.
The Government also gave short shrift to the EU proposals, stating that they must go further to ensure the Protocol operates in a reasonable way.
The government spokeswoman continues: “It’s good to see the Commission engaging and acknowledging that changes are needed to how the Protocol is currently operating.
“The issue is that what the EU is presenting as a package of solutions is in fact only a small subset of the many difficulties caused by the way the Protocol is operating. We need comprehensive and durable solutions if we are to avoid further disruption to everyday lives in Northern Ireland – as we have set out in our Command Paper.”