The United Kingdom has chosen to leave the European Union after a referendum widely known as the “Brexit” vote. The decision is expected to impact many industries, including veterinary medicine, though the official separation will not occur for approximately two years due to a negotiation process. News of the vote prompted several major veterinary schools and professional organizations in the United Kingdom to issue official statements on the matter.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons released a statement saying that they have not yet determined what effect the decision will have on current international arrangements like the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive (MRPQD), a reciprocal agreement that grants European veterinarians the ability to practice in the United Kingdom (and vice versa). They noted that they will be working closely with all organizations to “minimize any disruption during the transition process.”
The British Veterinary Association released a statement saying that the Brexit decision could have a significant impact on the veterinary profession in Europe, “particularly in relation to regulation, education, and workforce planning, but also in terms of animal welfare, research, surveillance, and animal movements.”
European veterinarians will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on the negotiations regarding the UK’s exit.