Global health threats and a potential Brexit

In the context of Brexit it is imperative that the UK, Ireland and the EU work together to coordinate mechanisms for a robust, harmonised approach to global public health threats at points of entry.

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Health security in the European Union (EU) aims to protect citizens from serious threats to health such as biological agents and infectious disease outbreaks. Threats may include established infections, emerging diseases, or chemical and radiological agents. Co-ordinated international efforts attempt to minimize risks and mitigate the spread of infectious disease across borders; however, in the context of Brexit, there are concerns about the continuing commitment to those systems and policies within the EU. 

This position paper, from Ireland’s Medical Officer of Health Port Health group, provides a review of the current situation with respect to detection and management of serious human health threats across Irish borders and what may change for Ireland and the EU if/when Brexit occurs. The paper also describes the risks and challenges associated with Brexit and the potential models that have been used elsewhere to enhance interoperability across states neighbouring the EU.

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