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Steve Brine resigns over Brexit confusion: sector reacts

By Valeria Fiore
26 March 2019

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The public health and primary care minister Steve Brine handed his resignation letter to the Prime Minister yesterday, as he was concerned the UK might leave without a deal following the way the Government is handling Brexit.

He said that by stepping down from his role, he could fully back up the Letwin Amendment – which proposes a number of ‘indicative votes’ on a variety of withdrawal options and was passed in the house of the Commons last night.

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Dr Wollaston – who last month resigned from the Conservative Party as she could no longer tolerate how her party was dealing with Brexit – welcomed Mr Brine’s move.

Obesity Health Alliance, the coalition of 40 organisations working together to influence Government policy, thanked the minister for his commitment to reduce childhood obesity.

In August last year, Mr Brine launched a consultation proposing a ban to the sales of energy drinks to children.

Last year, Mr Brine accepted – together with health and social care secretary Matt Hancock – some recommendations to start bowel cancer screening at age 50.

Macmillan Cancer director of policy, campaigns and influence Dr Moira Fraser was sad to see him leave.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Children, Teens and Young Adults with Cancer also thanked Mr Brine for his attention to the needs of people with cancer.

Terrence Higgins Trust, the British charity that advocates for and provides HIV and sexual health services, thanked the departing health minister for his work in this field. Under his tenure, the Government made the commitment to end HIV transmission in England by 2030.

The pharmaceutical sector also thanked Mr Brine for his attention to community pharmacies

Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee chief executive Simon Dukes said: ‘Over the past year we have made considerable progress in rebuilding a constructive working relationship with Government, and as Minister, Steve Brine had been central to that.

‘He regularly expressed his support for community pharmacy in Parliamentary statements and beyond, and we look forward to continuing to work with him as an MP on pharmacy and public health matters.’

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