The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has been told by the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland that, while the rights of non-British EU citizens is not a devolved matter, their priority is to ensure the best outcome for their current constituents and acknowledging the importance of animal health and welfare.
The response follows BVA’s voicing of concerns in the wake of the Brexit vote, given that almost half of veterinary surgeons registering in the UK, qualified from veterinary schools elsewhere in the EU.
While the UK government, which actually controls the issue, has so far failed to clarify the situation, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Andrea Leadsom, has offered to meet BVA president, Sean Wensley, to discuss this and other priority issues for the veterinary profession.
BVA is also establishing a Brexit working group to prioritise and develop policies on the key issues that should be raised in forthcoming discussions and negotiations, while continuing to work with the RCVS and other bodies regarding the implications of Brexit for the veterinary professions.
In that context, BVA members are being encouraged to share their feedback on BVA’s community forum under a dedicated link headed: What do you think Brexit could mean for the veterinary profession?
Vets are also urged to take part in BVA’s bi-annual Voice of the veterinary profession survey which will, this autumn, include questions on the immediate and projected impact of Brexit for the veterinary profession and for UK animal health and welfare.
In a separate development, a call for evidence has been issued today by a new inquiry, chaired by Gisela Stuart MP, former chair of the Vote Leave campaign, which is examining the practicalities of how the Government can protect the rights of the three million EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit. The inquiry, which is due to meet in September and October 2016, claims to have cross-party, business and trade union support.
To submit evidence to the inquiry contact info(at)britishfuture.org