Leaving EU provides both opportunity and risk to public health as new trade agreements are negotiated

For the first time in half a century, the UK is free to negotiate its own international trade agreements now that it has left the EU.

The terms of these trade agreements have the potential to affect health and well-being in Wales in many ways – from the food we eat to our healthcare services, job market and ability to invest in public services.

Louisa Petchey, Senior Policy Specialist, Policy and International Health, said:

“Trade agreements can have wide reaching impacts on public health – both on the determinants of health and on the ability for governments to improve public health through new policy.

This paper we are publishing today aims to help trade policy experts understand the relevance of public health to their work, and enable public health professionals to identify where trade agreements could affect their efforts to improve public health outcomes.

The negotiation of new trade agreements certainly brings opportunities for Wales and the rest of the UK but we need to be alert to the potential unintended, negative consequences for public health as well.

All of us working in public health in Wales have a role to play in informing the terms of new trade agreements and policy where they relate to our areas of expertise to maximise the potential benefits to health and well-being.”

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