Thursday, 30 June 2022 – 20:36

Health Officials planning for ‘no deal’ Brexit

NHS officials have issued an implicit warning regarding the likely outcome of the Brexit negotiations. Health Service officials are now planning for the protection of public health in the event of a Brexit ‘no deal’. 

This does not inspire confidence in the negotiating abilities of the Government, who less than a year ago, urged health officials not to do so. 

The head of NHS England told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show on Sunday morning that significant planning was under way. Simon Stevens said that protecting the NHS through ensuring that vital medical supplies could still enter the UK after Brexit was a priority. 

This warning comes after leaked Whitehall advice warning of food and fuel shortages should the UK crash out of the EU without a deal, achieving a so-called ‘armageddon Brexit’. The leaked scenarios for a ‘no deal’ outcome suggest that special chartered planes will be used to airlift vital medicines into the country. 

The plans, drawn up for an inter-ministerial group on the preparedness in order for for better government coordination on Brexit. 

Some, including members of the Conservative Party such as Jacob Rees Mogg, have dismissed these claims as unnecessary. Whilst officials for the Department for Exiting the European Union claim that talk of ‘armageddon’ is in fact an exercise in scenario planning.

The exact details of the final deal are still unknown, and seemingly will be a for while. However, these warnings show how businesses and organisations alike are facing uncertainty and confusion suggests that a ‘no deal’ scenario may become a reality. 

Without a clear and concrete position from the Government, the best organisations can do is plan for the worst outcome and ensure effective mitigation procedures are in place. This, as in the case of the NHS, fuels speculation of a lack of clarity and direction in the negotiations. It also serves to highlight the lack of confidence major public and private organisations, as well as Government Departments, have in the strategy and planning by No.10. 



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