Supply of medicines and a no-deal Brexit

Many constituents have contacted me about the supply of medicines and a no-deal Brexit.

Ministers are working closely with the pharmaceutical industry to ensure that the supply of medicines to the UK in the event of a no-deal exit will be uninterrupted.

Following the change of the EU exit date, the Department of Health and Social Care has written to all medicine suppliers asking that they continue preparations for all negotiation outcomes. This is important in order to minimise the risk of disruption. Work continues to ensure that medicines imported from the EU with a short shelf-live can be imported by air in a no-deal scenario.

The Government has also been clear that it wants EU nationals currently working in the NHS to stay in this country after we leave the EU. After the country leaves the EU, the UK will set its own immigration policy, but the Department of Health and Social Care will ensure that there is sufficient staff to continue delivering high quality services.

The precise detail on future healthcare arrangements will be a matter for the future partnership negotiations but the Government has been clear that there should be continued participation in the EHIC scheme after the UK leaves the EU. In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, my ministerial colleagues have proposed maintaining existing healthcare arrangements, including an EHIC type arrangement, until 31 December 2020 in order to minimise disruption.

I have always been very clear that I want to leave the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement and while I have no doubt that the UK could thrive in the long-term, I believe that leaving without a deal in the short-term would damage the prospects of those in this country who could least afford it.