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Government stockpiling medicine ahead of Brexit

News | Published:

MEDICAL supplies are being stockpiled at a secret location in Jersey and an emergency air freight service lined up in case there are shortages owing to a no-deal Brexit, the government has confirmed.

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Yesterday it emerged that proposals would be debated in the States next month to establish a ‘competent authority’ who will be responsible for ensuring medicine and medical goods continue to reach the Island if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October.

Chief Minister John Le Fondré’s proposition, which is due to be debated on 10 September, will also ask Members to approve an updated decision-making framework for the Emergencies Council, which will take responsibility for ensuring all supply chains, including food, remain intact.

The likelihood of a no-deal Brexit has increased in recent weeks with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating that he is happy for Britain to leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

There have long been concerns that supply chains to Jersey could be disrupted if UK ports – such as Portsmouth, from which most of the Island’s freight comes – become subject to increase border checks and bureaucracy.

A government spokeswoman said that due to its geographical isolation Jersey was having to make special preparations of its own to ensure supplies were available in the Island.

‘As part of the Day One No Deal Brexit preparations, the UK government is in contact with UK health suppliers who have been advised to stockpile on top of their usual operational buffer stocks,’ she said.

‘The aim is to ensure that suppliers have sufficient supplies to maintain UK hospitals and the Crown Dependencies should disruption occur.’

She added: ‘Due to Jersey’s geographical isolation we have established several business continuity measures to maintain our supply chain and therefore do not anticipate suffering shortages of medical supplies.

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‘Health and Community Services have also stockpiled medical supplies on top of our usual stocks.

‘In the unlikely event our supply chain by boat should become problematic, HCS have also established air-freight contingencies to ensure we are able to maintain our stocks and services as usual.’

The spokeswoman said that the location of the stockpile of medical supplies was ‘confidential’.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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