The government has signed contracts with four transport companies worth £87m in total, which it says will help to ensure the continued supply of medicines.
The Department for Transport (DfT) announced on 11 October 2019 that it had signed the six-month contracts with Brittany Ferries, DFDS, P&O and Stena Line for the mass transportation of category 1 goods, which includes medicines.
The DfT said these contracts are different to those tendered in July 2019 by the Department of Health and Social Care worth £25m.
In a statement, the DfT said the ferries would be expected to operate on routes that the government said are less likely to face any potential disruption if the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October 2019.
Mike Thompson, chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said the added capacity “gives companies valuable extra detail to help finalise their plans for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit”.
The contracts come as a report published by Public Health Wales, ‘The public health implications of Brexit in Wales: a health impact assessment approach’, warned that “there could be population groups who potentially will be adversely affected by Brexit in a multifaceted, cumulative way”.
The report, which was published on 11 September 2019, said that older people, people with chronic conditions or disabilities requiring access to health and social care services, and people on lower incomes “will be more susceptible to any negative effects of Brexit”.