To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 December 2018 to Question 202793 on Hospitals: Medical Equipment, when the Government plans to publish its plans on keeping an open border to maintain the supply of medical equipment to the UK after the UK leaves the EU.
The Government remains committed to leaving the European Union with a deal. Under the conditions of the Withdrawal Agreement, there will be a two year Implementation Period within which the Government will negotiate the United Kingdom’s future relationship with the EU. During the Implementation Period, there will be no change to the current trading arrangements with the EU and European Economic Area, meaning the supply of medicines and medical products will continue unhindered.
However, as a responsible Government, we are preparing for all exit scenarios, including the possibility that the UK leaves the EU without a deal. In December 2018, the Government announced that preparations were being put in place to mitigate against the potential for up to six months of severe disruption to the short strait crossing routes via Dover and Folkestone. Additional freight capacity on roll-on, roll-off routes has now been secured, and there is cross-Government agreement that all medicines and medical products will have priority access to this capacity, ensuring continuity of supply for patients is maintained.