BRITAIN is ramping up preparations for a No Deal Brexit ahead of the new October deadline – with an express route to ship in emergency supplies.
Ministers revealed today they will be able to get supplies in between 24 and 48 hours if needed if the UK leaves the EU without a deal later this year.
That could come through ferries, planes or the channel tunnel. Previous plans for No Deal ferries were ditched after the March 31 deadline.
In efforts to make sure businesses and Brits are as ready as possible for any outcome, ministers said they had published 750 notices since last August.
140,000 firms had been contacted too to ease any transition and hundreds of meetings have taken place at the highest levels of Government.
In a statement from deputy PM David Lidington today, it said: “The Department of Health and Social Care is starting the process of setting up an express freight contingency arrangement to support continuity of supply of medicines and medical products.
“This will be an urgent contingency measure for products requiring urgent delivery, within a 24-48 hour timeframe, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.”
But Brits still don’t need to stockpile their own medicines, the Government stressed.
In a letter to medical suppliers, Chief Commercial Officer at the Department of Health, Steve Oldfield said companies need at least six weeks of stock above their current levels, just in case.
Medicine suppliers should also have plans to move freight away from busy ports after a No Deal exit day to stop any restrictions and prevent bottlenecks.
If it’s not possible to stockpile goods – like with medical radioisotopes – ministers are demanding supplies get ready with emergency planes in case they need to be flown in.
Six months of disruption is expected if we leave the EU without a deal, but it will be at its worst for the first three months.
The Department of Health will extend contracts for warehouses and fridge space too.
Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to become the next Tory leader, has promised to take Britain out of the EU before October 31, even if that means without a deal.
Earlier today his supporter Dominic Raab warned that even Remainer MPs won’t be able to stop him delivering on the will of the people if that’s what it came to.
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Earlier gloomy Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, strongly hinted that interest rates would have to be cut if there was a No Deal.
“In the event that there is no deal, the response would not be automatic, it would depend on demand, on supply and where the exchange rate went,” he said today.
He also claimed that No Deal fears were a drag on the economy.
Despite that, February’s economic figures gave the UK a boost as stockpiling for the Brexit deadline spiked GDP.
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