18,000 sqm of a warehouse building in a secret location were purchased by the Welsh government to store not only food, but also £4 million worth of medical supplies. According to the director of procurement of NHS Wales, Mark Roscrow, the stored good and supplied would last for about 8 weeks.
"It's about 47,000 square feet, that's about 5,000 pallets, it represents around 1700 product lines. At the moment the stock value is about £4m and that's typically about eight weeks of stock that would normally be used in that sort of period across the whole of NHS Wales. It's everything from medical items — syringes, dressing, needles, cleaning materials, through to toilet rolls — the sort of thing the NHS relies on day in day out to operate. Most of it comes from abroad and that's preparation for the event of a no-deal Brexit," Roscrow explained.
— James Crichton-Smith (@JCrichtonSmith) April 4, 2019
Fear of crashing out of the European Union without a deal in place has moved businesses and the public to consider piling up on basic goods ahead of a possible trade standstill between the UK and the continent. In March, Britain's fourth-biggest supermarket group Morrisons reported a surge in painkillers and toilet rolls sales, speculating it was prompted by the risk of a no-deal Brexit.
NHS Wales stores over 22 tonnes of canned baked beans in the warehouse, as well as large supplies of toilet rolls and plum tomatoes.
Mark Roscrow of NHS said with the Brexit deadline moving, "the extra couple of weeks has bought us a bit more breathing space."
The UK is set to leave the European Union on 12 April, a deadline agreed by EU leaders, who required the UK Parliament finalises its decision on the Withdrawal Agreement. On Friday, the UK PM Theresa May requested that the Brexit deadline is extended to 30 June.
In response, the European Council President Donald Tusk proposed a flexible extension of up to a year to make sure the UK doesn't exit the bloc in a chaotic and costly way.