As the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Medical Research, and having spent over 30 years working for the NHS as a biochemist, I have deep concerns about the future of scientific research in our country post-Brexit.
I put my worries to the Secretary of State for Brexit David Davis MP on Monday in parliament. You can watch my question and the minister's response by clicking here.
In spite of his reply my concerns remain, and yesterday I was able to speak in more detail about the importance of medical research in a Westminster Hall debate on the future of the European Medicines Agency.
Britain is leaving the European Union and nobody must try to ignore the democratic result of the referendum. But what Brexit looks like and what it means for medical research is not yet clear.
We all agree that our nation must not become isolated. We must not cut ourselves off from world-leading medical and academic research or from collaborative innovation on life-saving medicines. We must reject isolation from funding and economic prosperity. We must ensure we are not isolated from regulatory safeguards or from providing our citizens and patients with the best quality of life and healthcare.
Isolation in medical terminology denotes a hospital or ward for patients with contagious or infectious diseases. We should not isolate or quarantine ourselves and become, in effect, the sick man of Europe.
Keeping institutions such as the European Medicines Agency and maintaining our relationship with it is key to the future of British science and medicine, and to accelerated access to treatments for patients in Heywood and Middleton and across the UK.