UK Signs Freight-Capacity Deals To Ensure Medicine Delivery Post BrexitBy
The UK Department of Transportation has signed freight-capacity contracts to help ensure medicines continue to enter the UK after Brexit. UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O and Stena Line will be ready to deliver capacity equivalent to thousands of heavy goods vehicles per week from October 31, 2019, the date that the UK was scheduled to leave the European Union (i.e., Brexit).
The contracts will be in place for six months and are the first to result from the government’s freight-capacity framework. Collectively they are worth up to £86.6 million ($112 million). The companies will operate on routes that have been assessed as less likely to face any potential disruption if the UK leaves the EU without a deal as part of the Brexit process. All companies involved were already on the government’s freight-capacity framework.
“Today’s announcement gives companies valuable extra detail to help finalize their plans for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit,” said Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, which represents UK-based innovator pharmaceutical companies, in an October 11, 2019 statement. “This capacity is an important part of our members’ preparations—stockpiles are also in place, and some companies have already sourced their own alternative ferry routes. Industry will continue to do everything it can to make sure people get their medicines in all Brexit scenarios, as we have been doing for many months.”
The UK Department of Transport says the framework will be in place for the next four years and will continue to be used to help quickly deliver any future procurement, should any further capacity be necessary.
Over the summer (August 2019), the UK Department of Transport announced £30 million ($39 million) to bolster the country’s ports so that they can help continue the smooth flow of trade and transport after October 31. The government said it’s taking all the necessary steps to ensure there is limited disruption at the border after Brexit.