The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill faces challenges with the Lords. Ministers must prepare now.

By Chris Whitehouse August 3, 2020 9:34 am

Matt Hancock and Jo Churchill may have seen their Medicines and Medical Devices Bill sail serenely and swiftly through the Commons, but it’s heading for choppier waters in the House of Lords when it returns from its summer recess.

It’s not that their Lordships oppose the Bill in principle. After all, it’s a relatively simple and necessary measure to repatriate powers to the United Kingdom, post-Brexit, to regulate the safety and licensing of human and veterinary drugs and devices.

But, their Lordships have sniffed below that beguiling surface a constitutional truffle of the kind their House loves to expose, and they seem determined to dig it out and have their day with it.

That constitutional truffle is not that this Bill is, as Labour sought to portray the Trade Bill in the Commons, an attempt to bring in American companies to take over the NHS, nor is it that it would put patients at risk by cutting costs or lowering standards.

No, while those themes will no doubt be aired, the real issue of fundamental concern is the sheer all-encompassing sweep of the powers that it gives to ministers and the authorities that answer to them.

Read the full article by Chris Whitehouse in Conservative Home, here.

The Whitehouse team are experts in providing public affairs advice and political analysis to a wide range of clients engaging with health and social care providers and policy makers, not only in the United Kingdom, but also across the member states of the European Union and beyond. For more information, please contact our Chair, Chris Whitehouse, at chris.whitehouse@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk.

By Chris Whitehouse August 3, 2020 9:34 am

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