Government publishes further no deal guidance

07 Dec 2018

The Government has published an update on its preparations for a March 2019 no deal Brexit scenario.

The nine page letter by Matt Hancock the Secretary of State for Health is targeted at the entire health sector and was shared with the NPA earlier today.

In it Mr Hancock says proposals to allow the flow of goods into the UK without additional controls and checks, in the event of a no deal Brexit, are progressing well.

However, he reiterated the EU’s stance that in the event of a no deal scenario, it will impose full third country controls on people and goods entering the EU from the UK.

He added: “The cross-Government planning assumptions have been revised so we can prepare for the potential impacts that the imposition of third country controls by member states could have.

“These impacts are likely to be felt mostly on the short straits crossings into Dover and Folkestone, where the frequent and closed loop nature of these mean that both exports and imports would be affected.

“The revised cross-Government planning assumptions show that there will be significantly reduced access across the shorts straits, for up to six months.

“This is very much a worst-case scenario; however, as a responsible Government, we have a duty to plan for all scenarios.”

The Government said it recognises the vital importance of medicines and medical products and is working to ensure that there is sufficient roll-on, roll-off freight capacity to enable these vital products to continue to move freely in to the UK.

The Government has also agreed that medicines and medical products will be prioritised on alternative routes to ensure that the flow of all these products will continue unimpeded after 29 March 2019. This includes all medicines, including general sales list medicines.

Mr Hancock said the Department of Health & Social Care would continue to develop the UK-wide contingency plan for medicines shortages, with pharmaceutical companies, but warned community pharmacists, and others, against stockpiling.

He said: “UK health and social care providers, including hospitals, care homes, GPs and community pharmacies, should not stockpile additional medicines beyond their business as usual stock levels. There is also no need for clinicians to write longer NHS prescriptions.”

Mr Hancock goes on to address a number of other Brexit issues in the letter including the supply of: blood and other products of human origin; vaccines, and; medical devices and consumables.

To see the letter in full click here.