MPs have voted to accept an amendment to the Trade Bill that requires the UK Government to make continued UK participation in the EU/EEA medicines regulatory network, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA), a negotiating objective in trade discussions with the EU.
While the White Paper proposes continued regulatory alignment between the EU and UK for medicines and that the UK should continue to be an active participant in the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the effect of the amendment to the Trade Bill is to restrict the UK Government's negotiating freedom with the EU on this aspect of the negotiations. The UK Government lost the vote on the amendment by four votes, meaning that the amendment has now been incorporated into the Trade Bill. The Trade Bill is intended to form the legislative framework for implementing international trade agreements once the UK leaves the EU. The Trade Bill, as amended, has now been passed by the House of Commons and will progress to the House of Lords.