Warnings of “turmoil” in the event of a no-deal Brexit are part of a campaign to “frustrate Brexit,” according to U.K. Brexit negotiator Dominic Raab, who insisted he is confident a “good deal is within our sights.”
Speaking to the BBC’s Today Program, Raab recognized a no-deal scenario presents risks to health services, but claimed “long-standing arrangements” would mitigate the effects of any disruption caused by a no-deal Brexit. The U.K., he said, currently has “three-months worth of buffer stocks” for vaccines and other medicines.
The government could also take unilateral action to ensure continuity, such as recognizing batch testing of medicines produced in the EU, he added. And he insisted that the EU would take action to avoid problems on its side too, easing the impact of a no-deal scenario. “Some of those producing the worst scare stories about no deal are assuming the EU will behave in a vindictive way,” he said.
Raab will present today a first batch of 25 technical notices on government contingency plans in the event the U.K. crashes out of the EU without a deal in 2019. He described them as “sensible, measured, and proportionate approach to minimizing the impact of no deal on British firms, citizens, charities and public bodies.”
“There are potential issues around the border in the worst-case scenario, so it’s right to say we will be working with industry around the stockpiling of medicines for a working assumption of six weeks,” he added.
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer told the BBC today the contingency plans are unlikely to reassure those concerned about a messy, no-deal Brexit. “These negotiations are going badly and the government is moving into panic mode,” he said.