Brexit and DevelopAKUre – What happens next?

In this week’s blog, Ciarán from the AKU Society explains what ‘Brexit’ means for DevelopAKUre and the SONIA 2 Clinical Trial.

On the 23rd June this year, the United Kingdom (UK) held a referendum on its continuing membership of the European Union (EU). 51.9% of UK citizens voted to leave the EU, this was synonymously called ‘Brexit’.

Brexit has dominated the headlines in both the UK and Europe ever since both sides of the argument started to campaign for ‘in’ or ‘out’, but what does the decision mean for patients enrolled in the SONIA 2 clinical trial?

One of the most important pieces of information to note at this point is that the impact of Brexit has yet to be felt. The pound has taken various hits since July, but until the UK actually leaves the EU, we will not know the long or short term effect of Brexit.

The new UK Prime Minster, Teresa May, recently announced that she desires to begin the process of leaving the EU at the end of March 2017. This means the UK will invoke Article 50, a piece of legislation that notifies the EU of a member states ambition to leave the EU and gives the soon to be ex-member state 2 years to negotiate an exit with the EU. This allows time to change relevant laws, renegotiate trade deals and any other bureaucratic arrangements that need to be amended. This means that, in theory, The UK should officially leave the EU in March 2019.

As SONIA 2 is due to finish in 2018, no SONIA 2 patient whilst enrolled in the trial should experience any difficulty in participating in the trail. This includes those patients who come from Europe to Liverpool. Nothing should change for the patient until the UK has officially left the EU in March 2019.

As SONIA 2 and DevelopAKUre receives the majority of its funding from the EC, it is understandable for patients to worry about how this might affect the invaluable work that SONIA 2 and DevlopAKUre is doing.

Markets may fluctuate based on prediction and flight cost may increase but any prediction or commentary that has been published in the press is either hearsay or speculation. Until the UK has left EU in 2019, it is bound by law to honour the arrangements enshrined whilst it was a member of the EU.


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