“Euro-ambivalence”, EU competition law, and national healthcare systems: How the UK parliament joined some of the dots with NHS reform

“We send the EU £350 million a week. Let’s fund our NHS instead” proved an effective – if misleading – slogan for the Leave campaign in the 2016 UK referendum on EU membership. While this may simply suggest a “very British” variety of Euroscepticism, its implications arguably prove further-reaching, with learning for other countries (and indeed the EU). This is because a notable part of the slogan’s power relies on the existence of a kind of “Euro-ambivalence” which would enable dots to be joined between EU law and national healthcare in diverse ways – not just by voters, but also national parliamentarians involved in legislative reform.

This blog post considers experiences of debating EU competition policy and NHS reform in the UK parliament with the controversial competition reforms of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (HSCA 2012) and attempts to repeal these. By setting out the wider relationship between the EU and Member States regarding national healthcare systems and policy, and how this may link with considerations of Euroscepticism, it is possible to outline a conception of “Euro-ambivalence” which may find reflection in diverse areas of law.

Read the full post by EUHealthGov’s Mary Guy here