The RCVS has published a document outlining the three core principles that will guide its approach to the Brexit process.

Brexit flags.
The principles were drawn up last year and discussed in a number of forums before being agreed at council.

Drawn up by the Brexit Taskforce last year and discussed in a number of forums, the principles were formally adopted at RCVS council at its meeting on 2 March.

Positive engagement

Each principle is supported by a number of policies the college will lobby for in the coming months – all designed to positively engage with post-referendum reality and Government policy.

The principles are that:

  • vital veterinary work continues to get done
  • high standards of animal health and welfare remain and improve
  • the RCVS is a global force for good

The first principle reflects concerns potential immigration restrictions could cause significant labour shortages in the UK – particularly in the meat industry and public health.

Home and away

According to the college, policies attached to this principle include lobbying to ensure EU vets and VNs working in the UK are allowed to remain indefinitely while, in the longer term, making sure any reduction in numbers from abroad is offset by an appropriately-funded increase in home-grown talent, including the up-skilling and extending of the role of VNs.

To promote the second principle, the college said it will work towards advancing standards of global accreditation and – once concerns about workforce shortages have been allayed – argue any restrictions placed on the number of EU graduates registering in the UK should be focused on schools that do not have European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education accreditation.

Further goals

Further to the third principle, the college said it will seek to ensure:

  • the rights of UK vets working in the EU are preserved
  • UK vets working abroad continue to be held up as exemplars of the profession
  • its global membership continues to grow
  • a world-leading evidence-based veterinary medicine hub is developed that will transform animal treatment globally

More information on the college’s Brexit activities can be found on the RCVS website.

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