Covid-19 - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:32 pm on 23rd April 2020.

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Photo of Lord Liddle Lord Liddle Labour 6:32 pm, 23rd April 2020

My Lords, I thank the Minister for his frankness on this occasion. On European co-operation, how have we got ourselves into a situation where for PPE we are so dependent on supplies from China, Turkey and other faraway countries, and allowed ourselves to get into a position where we do not have much domestic manufacture? Similarly, on vaccines, I read a report in the Financial Times that we have no vaccination manufacturing capacity at scale in Britain. If that is the case, should we not look at whether European co-operation can help us there?

I welcome what the Minister said about testing. I had a report locally of care workers in Silloth, in the west of Cumbria on the coast of the Irish Sea, being told that if they wanted to be tested, they had to go to Gateshead, some 80 miles away, with no means of transport to do so. Will there be no repetition of that problem?