The EMA will officially close its London office on 1 March 2019, Politico reports on 22 January, and is already actively moving to its temporary office in Amsterdam (EMA’s new permanent headquarters, a tailor-made building in the Zuidas business district of Amsterdam, are planned for completion in November 2019). The move and the fact that around 30% of the staff are not moving with the Agency means that despite best efforts, there are capacity issues currently.
The EMA, which has had a staff of 900 in London, held a ceremony on 25 January, as many staff left the Canary Wharf office for the last time, tweeting: “Today, EMA staff lowered the 28 EU flags and symbolically said goodbye to their London offices. EMA executive director, Guido Rasi expressed his thanks to the UK for its contribution to the work of the Agency and for having been a gracious host of EMA since 1995.” Key figures in the UK industry expressed their sadness at the move; Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, said it was a “very sad day for the UK” and “a great day for the Netherlands”. The loss to the UK not only of the EMA itself, but of the UK’s extensive participation in the EMA, is significant. The head of the ABPI, Mike Thompson, has said it has been akin to watching a “British success story” being broken up.