Exiting the EU: an update

Transition period update

There is now a transition period until the end of 2020 while the UK and EU negotiate additional arrangements.

The current rules on trade, travel, and business for the UK and EU will continue to apply during the transition period.

New rules will take effect on 1 January 2021.



The Department of Health and Social Care is leading the response to EU exit across the health and care sector. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care.

Professor Keith Willett was appointed as the Strategic Commander for EU exit for the NHS. The NHS England and NHS Improvement operational response was set out in a letter from Professor Willett in February 2019. Each NHS organisation appointed an EU exit Senior Responsible Officer, who is responsible for ensuring their organisation is prepared for EU exit.

NHS England and Improvement’s role is to ensure the NHS is as prepared as possible for EU exit – including an exit without a deal – so that we can continue to provide world-class healthcare.

To help support primary care staff to reassure and have conversations with patients, in 2019 the government made available key information on topics such as medicines, vaccines and more.