Brexit graphic

Since 24 June 2016 when the UK voted to leave the European Union, we have been working to create a unified voice for the veterinary and veterinary nursing professions, preparing for the risks and opportunities that Brexit may bring.

Here you can learn how we're working to ensure the best possible outcome for animal health and welfare, public health and the veterinary professions post-Brexit.



In November 2017 President Stephen May, Senior Vice President Chris Tufnell, and BVA Senior Vice President Gudrun Ravetza hosted a webinar to update the veterinary profession on Brexit work. You can watch a recording of this webinar for free through Webinar Vet


Latest news

8 November 2017 - Strong case for vets to be on shortage occupation list

7 November 2017 - European vets call on Brexit negotiators to secure animal welfare, surveillance and medicines 

27 October 2017 - Profession-wide project formed to assess potential impact of Brexit 

13 June 2017 - College calls for certainty around the rights of EU nationals working in the UK 



You can find a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the impact of the EU referendum on our Registration page

You can also view our leaflet summarising the key facts, and our principles and policies.


Brexit Principles 

We have now published our three ‘Brexit Principles’ which will serve to guide our relationship with Government during the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. RCVS Council formally adopted the Principles at its meeting on Thursday 2 March 2017.

They are: 

  • that vital veterinary work continues to get done;
  • that high standards of animal health and welfare remain and improve; and,
  • that the RCVS is a global force for good.

You can read more about the Brexit Principles on our dedicated Brexit Principles page


Presidential Brexit Taskforce

On 26 July 2016 we held the first meeting of our Brexit Presidential Taskforce with the central purpose of putting the veterinary profession in charge of its future. The members of the Taskforce are:

  • President, Stephen May
  • Senior Vice President, Chris Tufnell
  • CEO, Lizzie Lockett
  • Vice President, Amanda Boag
  • Operations Director, Corrie McCann
  • Registrar, Eleanor Ferguson
  • Chair of Education, Susan Dawson
  • Head of Education, Chris Warman
  • Council member, Stuart Reid
  • Chair of VN Council, Liz Cox


Brexit roundtable

On 24 February 2017 we co-hosted a 'Brexit roundtable' with the British Veterinary Association (BVA) at the Palace of Westminster.

The event aimed to create a unified voice within the veterinary profession on shared goals, and to ask for the approval of our Brexit Principles from the BVA and its divisions. 

Representatives from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and many other veterinary associations were also in attendance, and Nigel Gibbens, the Chief Veterinary Officer, thanked the RCVS for positively engaging with the Brexit process. 


Brexit survey

In early 2017 the Institute for Employment Studies sent a confidential survey on our behalf to 5,572 veterinary surgeons registered UK veterinary surgeons who graduated from a vet school in the EU (excluding the UK), as well as around 100 non-UK EU-trained veterinary nurses.

The survey asked a wide range of questions about how these individuals felt:

  • that the vote to leave the EU had affected them
  • about their future working in the UK veterinary sector
  • the College had dealt with the issue of Brexit

You can find a summary of the results in the full report


Letter to the Prime Minister

On 18 October 2016 we and the British Veterinary Association sent a letter to the Prime Minister outlining how we want to work with the government to ensure the best possible outcome for animal health and welfare, public health and the veterinary profession post-Brexit.

You can read the full letter, as well as the response.


For more information please email Ben Myring at