- Oct 27, 2017
It will take “six to eight months” to build up supplies of medicines for a no-deal Brexit, a leaked cabinet note says – undermining Boris Johnson’s threat to crash out of the EU on 31 October.
The warning says the pharmaceutical industry needs that period of help from the government “to ensure adequate arrangements are in place to build stockpiles of medicines”.
It also says that it would take “at least 4-5 months” to make traders ready for the new border checks that might be required, including incentives to register for fresh schemes.
The note was revealed by The Financial Times as Mr Johnson – the overwhelming favourite to succeed Theresa May – launched his campaign on a pledge to leave the EU on 31 October “deal or no deal”.
It states that, while government departments had delivered around 85 per cent of their “core no-deal plans”, many of those provided only “a minimum viable level of capability”.
“They are prepared to talk up crashing out of the EU to further their chances in the Tory leadership contest, despite government documents showing this would lead to shortages of medicines and chaos at our borders.”
Mr Johnson has drawn criticism for insisting the current Halloween night deadline must be met – regardless of whether he can strike a new deal with the EU.
At his launch, he said it was impossible to “unite this country” until “we have delivered on the primary request of the people; the one big thing they have asked us to do.”
He added: “After three years and two missed deadlines, we must leave the EU on October 31.”
Building up adequate stockpiles of medicines for a no-deal Brexit will take ‘six to eight months’, leaked cabinet note says