23:07 GMT06 March 2021
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    The plans, alongside other efforts to secure essential supplies once the UK withdraws from the EU, are being formulated as the prospect of a hard Brexit continues to grow.

    Matthew Hancock, Britain’s recently appointed health secretary, confirmed that the UK is stockpiling medicines and related essential supplies in preparation of a no-deal Brexit, The Independent reported on Wednesday.

    The minister revealed that he had already met with NHS representatives and industry leaders to outline plans to build up reserves of blood, vaccinations, and other key supplies.

    READ MORE: Irish Gov't Dismisses PM May’s Threat, Claims UK Can't Afford Hard Brexit

    “We are seeking to avoid a no-deal Brexit, I am confident that it can be avoided. But any responsible government needs to prepare for a range of outcomes, including the unlikely scenario of no deal. We are working right across government to ensure that the health sector and the industry are prepared, and that people's health will be safeguarded in the event of a no-deal Brexit,” Minister Hancock told MPs.

    He stressed that certain supplies with short shelf lives can’t be stockpiled, and will have to be “flown in” on a continuous basis post-Brexit.

    Earlier, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said the government was also stockpiling food in case its supply chain is significantly disrupted as a result of a hard Brexit.

    Researchers have warned that a hard Brexit or a trading arrangement where EU tariffs apply would be detrimental to the UK’s economy, causing significant price inflation and potentially leading to shortages.

    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn recently criticized the government’s industrial policy, insisting that more needs to be done to make the UK less reliant on imported goods, especially with an unfavorable Brexit deal looming.

    READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn Slams UK Government's Industrial Policy, Reliance on Imports


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    stockpile, tariffs, Brexit, UK Government, National Health Service (NHS), European Union, Matthew Hancock, Jeremy Corbyn, Dominic Raab, United Kingdom
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