WATCH: Health Secretary says ministers building fridges to stockpile medicines after no-deal Brexit

Posted On: 
8th November 2018

The Government is boosting its refrigerated capacity to store medicines in case Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal, the Health Secretary has admitted.

Matt Hancock said ministers were working with the pharmaceutical industry to prepare for a no-deal Brexit

Matt Hancock said preparations for the sector in case of a no-deal departure were “doable” although “difficult” and said work was going on already.

Asked by ITV’s Robert Peston whether the country will be able to hold enough drugs that need to be cooled, he said: “Well we are building refrigerator capacity right now, even though we will get a deal and I’m confident we will get a deal.

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“We are making sure we have more refrigerated capacity, we announced that last week.”

He continued by urging the public not to stockpile more medicines themselves, as he insisted the health service would have adequate supply.

“It’s very important that people don’t go out of their way to have bigger personal stores because the NHS will be supplying unhindered flows of medicines to people in any scenario,” he said.

“That is our clear goal and we are working with the pharmaceutical industry to reach it.”

He added: “You can’t have stockpiles for enormous lengths of delays, what you need is a different route, but all of this is doable, it is difficult, there’s a lot of work going on already to make it happen.”

The intervention comes after Theresa May said in July that the public should take “comfort” from “sensible” disaster-scenario preparations.

And it comes as a Brexit deal appears closer, with Cabinet ministers last night invited to see copies of the Prime Minister's draft withdrawal agreement.