The Government is to invest £434m in stockpiling and freight capacity in order to prevent drugs shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
The funding forms part of an extra £2.1bn announced today to prepare the UK for a no-deal.
A total of £434m will be made available as part of an immediate cash injection of £1.1m to prepare ‘critical areas’ for the UK’s exit from the EU on 31 October.
The funding will go towards ensuring the ’continuity of vital medicines and medical products’ through warehousing, stockpiling and freight capacity.
The Government has so far allocated £4.2bn for preparing for the EU exit since 2016. Of that, £71.1m has been allocated to the Department of Health and Social Care for Brexit preparations since 2018, according to a report outlining the departmental allocations of EU exit funding.
The new investment, announced today, also includes £344m to prepare new borders and customs operations, £108m to support businesses and ensure they are ready for Brexit, and £138m to boost public communications.
A further £1bn will be made available for all departments and devolved administrations to ’enhance operational preparedness’, and will involve departments bidding to the Treasury if they require extra funding.
The chancellor, Sajid Javid, said: ’With 92 days until the UK leaves the European Union it’s vital that we intensify our planning to ensure we are ready.
’We want to get a good deal that abolishes the anti-democratic backstop. But if we can’t get a good deal, we’ll have to leave without one. This additional £2.1 billion will ensure we are ready to leave on 31 October – deal or no deal.’
Earlier in February however, health minister Stephen Hammond admitted the NHS was stockpiling body bags in the case of a no-deal Brexit.