The Government maintains that leaving the European Union with a deal is the best exit outcome and has strongly expressed its opposition to leaving without a deal, in line with the position consistently expressed by Parliament. However, leaving without a deal on 31 October 2019 remains the legal default at the end of the Article 50 extension period if no withdrawal agreement is agreed. Therefore, as a responsible Government, we will continue to prepare to minimise any disruption to the supply of medicines and medical products in a ‘no deal’ scenario.
The Department continues to work closely with the devolved administrations, relevant EU member states, industry trade bodies and suppliers, the National Health Service and our other main stakeholders to ensure that we are prepared for leaving the EU without a deal in October.
On 26 June, we wrote to suppliers of medicines to the United Kingdom from or via the EU or European Economic Area setting out our continuing multi-layered approach to ensure the continuity of supply of all medicines and medical products in a potential ‘no deal’ scenario on 31 October. Further details can be found at the following link:
We recognise that suppliers may incur additional storage costs for stockpiling medicines or switching to air freight We have been working closely with industry to minimise costs and support medicine suppliers taking part in the contingency programme.
The provision for additional warehouse space procured for a possible 29 March ‘no deal’ exit remains available for the 31 October deadline. The Department expects to spend around £11 million over the life of these contracts.