NHS Expenditure and EU Negotiations

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons at on 1 September 2020.

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Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work, Pensions and Inclusion), SNP Deputy Leader

What recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on NHS expenditure of negotiations on the future relationship with the EU.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

As the hon. Lady knows, the negotiations with the EU on our future relationship with it following the end of the transition period are ongoing. This Government are delivering on their pledge to respect democracy and the referendum result, with the UK engaging continuously and constructively in the negotiations. We must await the outcome of those negotiations, in which health-related aspects are very important, rather than prejudging what will emerge from them.

Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work, Pensions and Inclusion), SNP Deputy Leader

In just four months’ time, new customs bureaucracy will lead to increased drug costs for the NHS, including for insulin, which the UK does not produce. Pharmaceutical and medical supply firms report that they are struggling to rebuild last year’s stockpiles because of global shortages due to covid. How does the Minister plan to ensure that patients will not face shortages next year?

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department is putting in place a multi-layered approach to help to ensure continuity of supply of medicines and medical products in any case that might fall out of the negotiations and the end of the transition period. We are confident that we will maintain continuity of supply.