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Trade deals are being arranged for our exit, and drugs companies still will be supplying us from the EU

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I recently asked Parliamentary Questions regarding the trade deals that will be novated to the UK once we leave the EU. I also enquired about whether any companies based in the EU have indicated a wish to cancel contracts to supply the NHS with medicines in the event of us leaving on WTO terms. I am pleased to see that trade agreements have been signed with 32 countries.

It is also unsurprising to see that no companies within the EU have indicated they no longer wish to supply medicines to the UK in such an event.

Department for International Trade provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (270691):

To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate he has made of the number of EU free trade agreements which will have novated to the UK when the UK leaves the EU. (270691)

Tabled on: 28 June 2019

George Hollingbery:

In the event of the UK leaving the EU with a negotiated agreement, the UK and EU have currently agreed that existing international agreements would apply as they do today for the duration of the implementation period.

Nevertheless, we have been working with our trading partners to have bilateral agreements ready in place for when we need them, whether that is after an Implementation Period or for a potential No Deal.

We are making progress and have signed or agreed in principle agreements with 32 countries. Total trade in 2018 between the UK and these countries accounted for 63% of the UK’s trade with all the countries with which the UK is seeking continuity in the event of a potential No Deal.1 That has moved from 28% since March. A regularly updated list of agreements signed is available on GOV.UK.

1 The figures quoted above are based on total goods and services trade (imports and exports) with the UK, according to the most recent data (ONS, 2018).[1] They cover 65 countries that are party to 35 agreements. These are the countries covered by existing EU agreements in force in 2018. As above, this excludes Turkey, Andorra, San Marino which are part of customs unions with the EU and Japan, as the Economic Partnership Agreement only came into force on 1st February 2019

The answer was submitted on 04 Jul 2019 at 10:30.

The Department of Health and Social Care has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (270230):

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any companies based in the EU have indicated a wish to cancel contracts to supply the NHS with drugs in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. (270230)

Tabled on: 27 June 2019

Stephen Hammond:

The Department has been in contact with NHS England’s Commercial Medicines Unit (CMU), who puts in place competitively tendered arrangements (Framework Agreements) through which National Health Service hospital trusts can purchase certain medicines.

Neither the Department nor CMU are aware of any contract cancellations related to a ‘no deal’ European Union exit.

The answer was submitted on 05 Jul 2019 at 10:00.


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