“We also welcome the decision to extend until the end of 2022 – or until new legislation is introduced – the ‘grace period’ before any new arrangements come into force in relation to medicine supplies in Northern Ireland.
“This is a move we have argued for repeatedly, in the absence of a negotiated settlement, and one which should lift the immediate threat of any significant interruption to medicine supplies in Northern Ireland as we move into the new year.
“We have been very clear about the need to end the long-standing uncertainty caused by the UK’s EU exit and the Northern Ireland Protocol on companies supplying medicines to Northern Ireland from other parts of the UK.
“We will of course need to look carefully at the details in the EU proposals but we are hopeful that the suggested changes may address the key concerns we have voiced – for example, around licensing arrangements and import requirements for over-the-counter medicines in Northern Ireland – which I raised in my evidence to the House of Lords Sub-Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in October.
“We welcome the assurance from Lord Frost that he and his team will look positively at the EU’s proposals. We will share with his team at DHSC PAGB’s own expert analysis of the impact of the EU’s planned changes, as we have done throughout the negotiating process.”