Department of Health and Social Care: Brexit

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 10th July 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what preparations his Department is making for the UK leaving the EU without an agreement; and how much funding has been allocated to those preparations.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

As a responsible Government, we continue preparations to minimise any disruption in a ‘no deal’ scenario. We are putting in place a range of mitigations, these include:

- leading a procurement exercise to secure an ‘express freight service’, with the aim to secure transport of small medical supply consignment into the United Kingdom within the 24 hours if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal;

- changing or clarifying regulatory requirements so that companies can continue to sell their products in the UK if we have ‘no deal’;

- working with industry to improve trader readiness in preparation for the new customs procedures that will come into force on day one if we leave the EU without a deal; and

- advising travellers to ensure they have comprehensive travel insurance.

HM Treasury has allocated over £4.2 billion of additional funding to departments and devolved administrations for EU exit preparations so far. This breaks down as £412 million over the spending review period for the Department for Exiting the European Union, Department for International Trade and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Autumn Statement 2016); £286 million of additional funding for 2017/18 (a full breakdown of which can be found in Supplementary Estimates 2017/18); over £1.5 billion for 2018/19 (Supplementary Estimates 2018/19); and over £2 billion for 2019/20 (Main Estimates 2019/20).

This funding is to cover all exit scenarios and is in addition to departmental efforts to reprioritise from business as usual toward preparations for the UK’s departure from the EU. Work on ‘no deal’ exit preparations cannot be readily separated from other EU exit work, given the significant overlap in plans in many cases.

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