Impact of Brexit for disabled people
The Welsh Government recognises that if Brexit results in disruption to services, there is likely to be a disproportionate impact on disabled people. There could also be implications of Brexit, especially a no deal Brexit, for disabled people in areas such as legal rights, accessibility - such as access to technologies and medicines from the EU - and community cohesion.
The Welsh Government wants to ensure that disabled people’s voices are heard, disability issues are fully considered in planning for Brexit, and disabled people have access to specialised information including advice and support with changes that affect them. To do this, we are working closely with Disability Wales, WCVA and the organisations represented on the Welsh Government’s Disability Equality Forum.
Disability Wales has been awarded funding to support disabled people and prepare them for the potential impacts which the UK’s exit from the EU may have on their day-to-day lives. The project will:
- provide engagement opportunities tailored around disabled people’s needs
- produce information and signposting in accessible formats
- host discussions about the possible longer-term impact on medications, services and benefits.
Disability Wales also hosts a Brexit FAQ document on their website.
Disability Wales, Cardiff University and WCVA’s Brexit Forum project have worked together to produce a briefing on the impact of Brexit on disabled people in Wales, which can be found in their FAQ document above.
Disability Wales have also contributed and signed up to the Disability Rights UK Brexit Manifesto.
The key issues raised by Disability Wales span Welsh Government’s policy areas. Below are links to the relevant information on Preparing Wales and other websites, for each of the key issues. Where information on an issue is not currently available on Preparing Wales or other websites, an update is provided.
Access to assistive technologies
Local authorities have provided assistive technology, such as community alarms, for a considerable time. Due to an ageing population and better affordability, there are now many more options available, including home monitoring technology. The technology enabled Care / assistive technology sector is global in nature but has received significant EU-funded support. Companies providing assistive technology may relocate to the EU in view of uncertainty, which may affect the availability and pricing of assistive technology solutions.
Blue Badge portability
The Blue Badge scheme is recognised across the EU and there are reciprocal arrangements in place. UK government Department for Transport officials are currently working with EU officials to negotiate the continuation of this agreement. There is a section on travelling abroad in the Welsh Government’s Blue Badge Scheme – Rights and Responsibilities in Wales booklet.
- Access to medical treatment from the EU to avoid waiting lists
- Health treatment while visiting the EU
- Medicine and medical device shortages
- Community cohesion and hate crime
- Regional investment in Wales after Brexit
- Food shortages
- Human rights