The UK House of Commons last night passed the “NC17” amendment to the government’s key Brexit legislation on medicines, essentially binding the UK to seek to stay within the European regulatory structures for pharmaceuticals.  The amendment was brought by Dr Phillip Lee, the Conservative MP who quit as Justice Minister last month to be free to vote against the government on Brexit issues.  The government voted against this amendment but 12 Conservative pro-EU MPs joined with the opposition party to successfully amend the government’s draft legislation.  It was a narrow vote, marking a defeat for the government, which lost by 301 votes to 305. 

The government avoided defeat yesterday on a broader amendment to the Brexit legislation that would have bound it to pursuing a customs union with the EU, just winning the vote with 307 votes to 301.  The loss of the medicines amendment vote appears to be greeted with some surprise at Westminster.

For further information please contact Julia Gillert of our London office or Els Janssens (formerly of the European Medicines Agency) of our Abu Dhabi office.



Julia Gillert is a Senior Associate in the Corporate Department of Baker & McKenzie's London office and is a key member of the Healthcare industry group within the London office and European and Global networks. Julia advises both domestic and international companies in the med-tech, pharma and healthcare sectors on a wide range of regulatory and general compliance matters. Julia has contributed to a variety of regulatory healthcare related publications and practice handbooks and co-edits the firm's European Healthcare Newsletter. Julia sits on the ABHI's Legal Issues Committee.


Els Janssens is a senior associate in our Abu Dhabi office and provides knowledge management support to Baker & McKenzie’s global and MENA Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry group. Els started her career in 2000 at Baker and McKenzie in Brussels focusing her practice on pharmaceutical law and commercial litigation. She has worked six years in London as a legal adviser with the European Medicines Agency (EMA). During this period she has supported the EMA’s activities in medicines oversight and regulation and interacted with the European Commission on legal matters relating to medicinal products. She also worked one year as senior legal counsel in Johnson & Johnson’s European legal department providing regulatory advice regarding various medicinal products and supporting the public affairs function on new legislation.

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