Brexit: Import of Radioisotopes - Private Notice Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:37 am on 7th March 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ribeiro Lord Ribeiro Conservative 11:37 am, 7th March 2019

My Lords, the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee looked at this matter and debated it in a take-note debate in July last year. At the time, I flagged up the importance of developing a new generation of alpha- and beta-emitting isotopes for cancer treatment in helping to mitigate the problems of importation. The then Minister, my noble friend Lord O’Shaughnessy, reassured the House that quite a lot of work was indeed going on with regard to proton beam treatment, that the Christie Hospital would be starting that very soon—that was last year—and that another unit was on the go. So there are alternative provisions for cancer treatment with proton beam therapy. None the less, there is an issue about what would happen in a no-deal Brexit as regards the gap between what we currently receive and what we are able to provide. Can the Minister say anything about when we can expect these new systems to come on stream? It is a challenging question, so she may wish to write to me on that.