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.
“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.
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.