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Brexit Turmoil: Amsterdam Gains EU Medicine Agency

by Oui Mon Nov 20th, 2017 at 06:55:16 PM EST

London loses European Medicines Agency in Brexit relocation | The Guardian |

London is losing the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam, European ministers have decided, in one of the first concrete signs of Brexit as the UK prepares to leave the bloc in 18 months' time.

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Pedestrians walk past the European Medicines Agency, which employs 900 people in Canary Wharf, London. Photo: Bloomberg/Getty

The EU's 27 European affairs ministers, minus the UK, took less than three hours to decide the new home of the agency, which employs 900 people in Canary Wharf, London.

After a five-month beauty contest, Amsterdam beat competition from 18 cities ranging from fancied contenders such as Copenhagen and Bratislava to outsiders such as Bucharest and Sofia.

In a second secret ballot, EU ministers will decide on the new home of the European Banking Authority, which employs 150 people, also in Canary Wharf.

The British government was powerless to stop the relocation of these two prized regulatory bodies, secured by previous Conservative prime ministers. The Department for Exiting the European Union had claimed the future of the agencies would be subject to the Brexit negotiations, a claim that caused disbelief in Brussels.

Speaking before the vote on Monday, the EU's chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier, said "ardent advocates of Brexit" had contradicted themselves on EU rules.

"Brexit means Brexit," he said, turning Theresa May's line back on her. "The same people who argue for setting the UK free also argue that the UK should remain in some EU agencies. But freedom implies responsibility for building new UK administrative capacity," he told a Brussels conference hosted by the Centre for European Reform.

"The 27 will continue to deepen the work of those agencies, together," he said. "They will share the costs for running those agencies. Our businesses will benefit from their expertise. All of their work is firmly based on the EU treaties which the UK decided to leave."

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) opened in 1995, having been secured for London by John Major's government. Seen as one of the EU's most important agencies, it carries out assessments and issues approvals for medicines across the union. The agency is also a boon for hoteliers, as 36,000 scientists and regulators visit each year.

Continued below the fold ...

Why losing the European Medicines Agency is bad news for patients, jobs - and the NHS | The Guadian - Oct. 14, 2016 |

I'm old enough to remember John Major's government like it was yesterday. I watched the Maastricht debates, and I'm prepared to admit I even read the treaty. I remember the troubles that John Major had navigating debates over Europe, and that one of his achievements, despite all those difficulties, was securing the location of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the UK.

Twenty years on, that success is being put at risk by another Conservative prime minister. Major complained about "the bastards" on his own side - now they're running the show. Earlier this week, I led a debate in Westminster on the future of the EMA because we need to know about the government's plans for medicines regulation following Brexit.

While the EMA wasn't spoken about much during the EU referendum campaign, the NHS certainly was, and the UK's relationship with the EMA is absolutely crucial to the NHS. Strangely enough, no minister from the Department for Exiting the EU was available for the debate - a health minister was left to field the questions.


They used a (Euro?) coin toss to pick Amsterdam.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Nov 20th, 2017 at 09:08:45 PM EST
Most likely used a weighted guilder for the toss, don't you think?

Paris was also decided by the toss of a coin with Dublin losing out!

  • Dublin loses out on bid to host European Banking Authority after Paris picked out of hat

  • Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
    by Oui on Mon Nov 20th, 2017 at 10:24:41 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    The first in what is certain to be a steady stream of people, companies, and institutions leaving.  

    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
    by ATinNM on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 at 02:15:40 AM EST
    tbh, this was all known from the moment of brexit.

    I have a friend who works at the EMA and she said practically the next day that the only thing to be settled was where she'd be re-locating. She's more or less been living out of a suitcase for the last 6 months, sharing a flat with a friend cos there was no point getting into leases or ownership when she knew she was off.

    I think they're all relieved they can get on with the business of sorting out hwere to live.

    keep to the Fen Causeway

    by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 at 06:00:02 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    We predicted it.  The SeriousPeople© scoffed firms, etc., would leave.

    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
    by ATinNM on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 at 09:34:15 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    Tens of thousands of financial jobs will be going, it seems that Frankfurt has won the beauty contest and they're all off there. T

    That said, FoM may not have the infrastructure in place to cope unless they go bonkers with building. there are already tales of a lack of school places for 2018.

    But I'm sure there will be plenty of jobs moving to Paris and Dublin as well.

    keep to the Fen Causeway

    by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 at 06:02:59 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    It will be interesting to see how many jobs evaporate during these moves and replaced by not every expert Expert Systems.

    She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
    by ATinNM on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 at 09:38:19 PM EST
    [ Parent ]
    I work in the same building.
    I guess the challenge will be to grow the business enough to use all of the extra floors.

    Well, I of course will not be part of it and will vacate one desk next year. I somehow doubt that Brexit will allow something like +60% growth anyway, so they'll probably be looking for new tenants.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

    by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Nov 21st, 2017 at 10:27:29 AM EST

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