EU ready to vote on European Medicines Agency's relocation away from London post-Brexit

Courtney Goldsmith
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The drugs agency will leave London, taking 900 jobs with it (Source: Getty)

The race to find the new post-Brexit home for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be concluded tomorrow when 27 EU member states cast their ballots.

The decision will determine where the 900 staff of the London-based agency will be relocated, but the EMA has warned that staffers might refuse to move to some of the 19 cities under consideration.

Milan in Italy, the Slovak capital Bratislava and Amsterdam were pegged by Ladbrokes as favourites to win, but insiders have warned of an unpredictable result, with officials telling Reuters the complicated voting process would be similar to that of the Eurovision Song Contest, meaning historical alliances could play big role.

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Athens, Vienna and Copenhagen are also in the running.

The EMA, which makes decisions about the safety of new medicines before they reach Europe's Single Market, is currently based in Canary Wharf in east London. It will have just 17 months to conclude its move and start up operations in its new host city, leading the EMA and others in the industry to warn of a slowdown in medicine approvals.

If a high number of employees leave if the EMA moves too far from London, as they said they might in a staff survey, that could worsen the situation.

The 27 EU nations will also vote on the relocation of the European Banking Authority tomorrow with Frankfurt emerging as Ladbrokes' top pick.

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