Brexit: NHS Wales and the EU – what will be the impact of leaving the EU for devolved policy areas in Wales?
Following the leave vote on 23 June, the Research Service, Legal Service and EU Office of the National Assembly for Wales (the Assembly) have prepared a Research Paper to consider what implications this has for Wales and for the work of the Assembly and Welsh Government. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which sets out the legal process for a Member State leaving the EU, was introduced to the EU Treaties by the changes made under the Treaty of Lisbon (which came into effect in December 2009). The European Parliament has produced a useful information sheet on the Article 50 procedure which can be found here.
This will be the first occasion where a Member State has left the EU and therefore there is no blueprint on how this will take place in practice. The legal consequence of a withdrawal will be the end of the application of EU Treaties and law in the state concerned. Under the Government of Wales Act 2006, the Assembly is obliged not to legislate or act in a manner that is contrary to EU law and concurrent powers (shared with the UK government) are provided to observe, transpose and implement EU law. In addition, as health and social care is devolved, the Welsh Government is responsible for delivery of health care services, through the National Health Service, and the promotion of health in Wales.
The Research Paper considers the legal implications of the vote to leave, looking at the impact on legislation in force as well as considering the relevance to the Wales Bill 2016 and the future devolution settlement for Wales. Section 6 considers in more detail the impact of exiting the EU on the policy and funding issues most relevant to the work of the Assembly and Welsh Government including health and social care policy (at page 31). You can read the Research papers here.
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