Last month Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Baroness Blackwood, Under Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asked the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) officials to arrange a workshop with senior medical devices industry stakeholders to discuss the UK’s future economic partnership with the EU. These meetings were scheduled to further develop the narrative for negotiations and are intended to be the start of a continued series of engagements right up until, and beyond the start of the UK-EU negotiations.

On 20 August Dr Andy Hepworth, Professional Relations Manager at Essilor Ltd, FMO Director and Chair of FMO’s Lens Focus Group, attended the workshops, representing FMO. Andy is well versed in Brexit issues – earlier this year he supplied information requested by the Department of Health and Social Care on contingency planning in the event of a no deal Brexit. Regulators can move relatively slowly, although a deadline of 31 October for us to crash out of the EU without a deal is definitely concentrating minds.

Andy attended the meeting armed with a number of questions forwarded to him by FMO members. Having this direct access to Government via the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care gives us the opportunity to influence Government policy at a critical time, with the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal now being a real option.

Following up on the meeting FMO and other optical membership and trade associations are pushing for a meeting with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to discuss regulatory concerns after the UK exits the EU.

We will keep you up to date with developments and there will be a brief discussion at the General Meeting at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 21 October, just 10 days before the UK is scheduled to leave. If you haven’t yet been to the Arena please join us for both the meeting and a tour of the excellent conference and exhibition facilities which will be home to Optrafair 2021. Contact David Ellison for more details.

Please find below the letter sent to Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom on 5 September by FMO, ABDO, FODO and ACLM raising our regulatory concerns about exiting the EU. Click here to view