I'm studying ab initio towards an EASA PPL. To be ready for my first solo, I obtained a class 2 medical certificate earlier this year. I had to take a day off work to do it and spend some cash that could have paid for flight time! Recently, the CAA has announced changes to the medical certificate requirements, aimed at reducing the need for private pilots to see an AME, but the announcement is not entirely clear to me.
Assuming these changes come into force before I first fly solo, could I have obtained an EASA PPL (and used all the privileges of that licence) without having obtained the class 2 medical certificate? If so, and assuming I don't intend to progress to a CPL or ATPL, is there anything else I need my certificate for, or any reason to renew it when that comes up in five years?