With the UK’s exit from the EU fast approaching, we have been asked by members how best they can protect their ability to practise and/or teach osteopathy within the EU post Brexit. While the environment is still uncertain, Maurice Cheng, CEO, provides some context and guidance.
The January deadline is for implementation of the withdrawal agreement, at which time we move into the transition phase, where details of rights to work will be negotiated by the government. Throughout the transition phase, rights to work will remain the same as they are now. There will be no immediate change after 31st January.
In terms of future-proofing, obviously we cannot predict how and what the government will negotiate for future rights to work for healthcare professionals, including osteopaths.
If you are a British citizen osteopath practising in an EU country without regulation, I would suggest that it would always be beneficial to engage with that country’s voluntary register and/or the professional association that is also a member of the European Federation and Forum of Osteopathy (EFFO). It goes without saying that for those country’s with regulation, you should already be complying with the legislative requirements of osteopathic practice for that particular country.
You can find out member associations of the EFFO website.
In terms of teaching in the EU – as opposed to practising osteopathy in the EU – this again would come under the rights to work negotiations, so no immediate impact in January.
As both member and secretariat of the EFFO, we at the iO are in close conversation with our all European colleagues on this issue and impacts to osteopaths across the UK and Europe.
We will have to wait and see how and what is agreed as the political process both in the UK and EU countries unfolds and will advise further as more information comes to light.