Article HS.1: Cooperation on health security

1. For the purpose of this Article, a “serious cross-border threat to health” means a life- threatening or otherwise serious hazard to health of biological, chemical, environmental or unknown origin which spreads or entails a significant risk of spreading across the borders of at least one Member State and the United Kingdom.

2. The Parties shall inform each other of a serious cross-border threat to health affecting the other Party and shall endeavour to do so in a timely manner.

3. Where there is a serious cross-border threat to health, following a written request from the United Kingdom, the Union may grant the United Kingdom ad hoc access to its Early Warning and Response System (the “EWRS”) in respect of the particular threat to enable the Parties and Member States’ competent authorities to exchange relevant information, to assess public health risks, and to coordinate the measures that could be required to protect public health. The Union shall endeavour to respond to the United Kingdom’s written request in a timely manner.

Moreover, the Union may invite the United Kingdom to participate in a committee established within the Union and composed of representatives of Member States for the purposes of supporting the exchange of information and of coordination in relation to the serious cross-border threat to health.

Both arrangements shall be on a temporary basis, and in any event for no longer than the duration that either of the Parties, having consulted the other Party, considers necessary for the relevant serious cross-border threat to health.

4. For the purposes of the information exchange referred to in paragraph 2 and any requests made pursuant to paragraph 3, each Party shall designate a focal point and notify the other Party thereof. The focal points shall also:

(a) endeavour to facilitate understanding between the Parties as to whether or not a threat is a serious cross-border threat to health;

(b) seek mutually agreed solutions to any technical issues arising from implementation of this Title.

5. The United Kingdom shall observe all applicable conditions for the use of the EWRS and the rules of procedure of the committee referred to in paragraph 3, for the period of access granted in respect of a particular serious cross-border threat to health. If, following clarificatory exchanges between the Parties:

(a) the Union considers that the United Kingdom has not observed the above-mentioned conditions or rules of procedure, the Union may terminate the access of the United Kingdom to the EWRS or its participation in that committee, as the case may be, in respect of that threat;

(b) the United Kingdom considers that it cannot accept the conditions or rules of procedure, the United Kingdom may withdraw its participation in the EWRS or its participation in that committee, as the case may be, in respect of that threat.

6. Where in their mutual interests the Parties shall cooperate in international forums on the prevention of, detection of, preparation for, and response to established and emerging threats to health security.

7. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the relevant body in the United Kingdom responsible for surveillance, epidemic intelligence and scientific advice on infectious diseases shall cooperate on technical and scientific matters of mutual interest to the Parties and, to that end, may conclude a memorandum of understanding.

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