Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 8th December 2020.

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The First Minister:

Obviously, the end of the Brexit transition period is a key issue in all of our thinking and planning right now. That is increasingly the case the closer we get to that date, and the closer we get to it without there being any clarity on whether there is a deal, or whether, if there is a deal—as I hope there will be in the next couple of days—it will be a fairly minimalist one.

We are discussing with UK colleagues across the other nations the supply of the vaccine, which we are assured is there and will continue to flow, although obviously that is subject to the pace of manufacturing. We have taken certain other contingencies to ensure that we have supplies of other vital medicines and medical devices. However, I think that we all hope that a deal will emerge in the next couple of days that, although it might not take away all the problems that will be faced at the turn of the year, might help to mitigate them.