The Government has decided that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 after 45 years as a member. The word Brexit means ‘British Exit’.
BuDS is not a political charity and we do not have a view about leaving or remaining in the EU. We only want to provide disabled people and carers with as accurate and reliable information as we can about issues which may affect them.
What is expected to happen
In November 2019, the Government made an agreement with the EU about how the UK will leave the EU.
This says that the UK will leave the EU on 31 January 2020, and while the UK ceases to be a member of decision-making bodies, most aspects of everyday life in the UK should stay the same until December 31 2020, or possibly 2021. This period is called the ‘transition period’, and is intended to give the EU and UK time to make new arrangements and to adjust to those which will end or change as the UK leaves. This is because the current arrangements which the UK has in place as a member of the EU covering, including for example, healthcare, travel, citizens’ rights, trade, customs, law enforcement, and data etc, will need to be renegotiated for the longer term and made again between the UK and EU as international treaties and agreements.
Why is Brexit a potential problem for Disabled People?
We believe that disabled people are much more likely than non-disabled people to be affected by any difficulties that may occur in this process; some disabled people have higher needs and depend more on other people and organisations; others may find it less easy to adapt and cope with change. Because of this, BuDS’ researchers have been keeping a close eye on how preparations for Brexit are going.
Many people say that the proposed transition period is unlikely to be long enough to agree and replace the everyday agreements and arrangements currently in use. Hence, we believe that at the end of the transition period, there is a real risk there could be some continuing disruption to the supply of certain goods and services.
As a responsible disability charity, we therefore think it’s sensible for all disabled people and carers to start preparing for potential difficulties associated with Brexit.
Download our free information guide Brexit – Healthcare for Disabled people (as at 21 Jan 2020)