Published: 22 September 2021
A new report published today by Public Health Wales highlights Wales’ vulnerability to any negative impacts of Brexit on the nation’s health and wellbeing following the Coronavirus pandemic.
Building on evidence that the pandemic has had an unequal effect on Welsh society, the study details how, now more than ever, it is important to understand how Brexit and future trade agreements will impact health and wellbeing for those living in, or at risk of poverty.
Key vulnerabilities identified include:
The report also draws together evidence on how poverty has affected people in Wales:
‘Brexit and poverty in Wales: A public health lens’ identifies that while the impact of Brexit remains uncertain, individuals and families who face multiple disadvantage and inequality, such as those on low-income, unemployed or experiencing in-work poverty, or who have less financial resilience, for example fewer household savings, are more vulnerable to any potential negative economic impacts of Brexit.
The report focuses on five key areas where Brexit effects are likely to be felt by those who are experiencing poverty:
Dr Sumina Azam, Consultant in Public Health, at Public Health Wales, said:
“The purpose of this report is to identify the potential risks and opportunities, and identify actions to help Wales prepare for, and respond to the impacts of Brexit and future trade agreements.
“This should be seen as our opportunity to address inequalities in health and wellbeing in Wales and work towards creating a fairer society for all. For example it’s important we identify communities who are most affected by loss of EU funding and target future funding at those most impacted, and strengthen our understanding of the links between trade and health, so that we better understand what the effects of future trade agreements will be for our communities.
“We can also work to enhance the role of our public services, which support our most vulnerable communities and populations, and have a key role in supporting the wider community in which they are based, through the employment of local staff, or through contributing to the local economy.