News

Media and Political Bulletin – 18 August 2020

Media and Political Bulletin

18 August 2020

Media Summary

Brexit: UK hopeful of EU trade deal next month, says No 10

BBC News, 18 August 2020

BBC News reports that the UK still believes it can agree a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU next month, according to Downing Street.

This week’s talks are the last scheduled negotiating round ahead of the autumn, although both sides have previously said talks would continue in September.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that an agreement would be needed by October “at the latest” so it could be ratified before the current post-Brexit transition period ends in December.

This was also reported by City A.M, i News and Daily Express.

Parliamentary Coverage

Cross-government reasonable worst case scenario

On 13 August, the recent DHSC letter to manufacturers and suppliers was updated – see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-to-medicines-and-medical-products-suppliers-3-august-2020 . There is now mention of the Reasonable Worst Case Scenario (RWCS) Government is using (there is no change to DHSC plans). This includes the following:

…The cross-government reasonable worst case scenario (RWCS) for our contingency planning indicates a risk of significant disruption across the short straits for 6 months following the end of the transition period, with a particular risk during the first 3 months. As a large percentage of medical supplies come from the EU or have a supply touchpoint there, the first priority of any contingency should be to maintain replenishment rates at necessary levels including by securing capacity to reroute freight away from potential disruption, especially during the first 3 months following 1 January 2021 when, under the government’s RWCS, the most significant disruption is anticipated. Companies are encouraged to review their own logistics arrangements and consider the appropriateness of using existing supply chain routes during this period as a matter of priority.

In 2019, the Department for Transport (DfT) put in place a 4-year procurement framework for freight capacity for ‘Category 1’ goods, which includes all health supplies. This framework is still in place. DHSC is seeking to secure capacity on the government secured freight capacity (GSFC) to support the health and social care sector. More information will be provided when possible, including updates on the procurement timescales and when companies can expect to be able to register and access the service.

In addition, DHSC has retained its express freight service arrangements with 3 specialist logistics providers to support the urgent movement of medicines and medical products to care providers and patients if other measures experience difficulties. This service will be in place for deployment at the end of the TP as required.

Full Coverage

Brexit: UK hopeful of EU trade deal next month, says No 10

BBC News, 18 August 2020

The UK still believes it can agree a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU next month, according to Downing Street.

The PM’s spokesman said UK negotiators would “continue to plug the gaps” when talks enter their seventh round in Brussels on Tuesday.

The two sides remain divided over competition rules, fishing rights and how a deal would be enforced.

The UK has ruled out extending the December deadline to reach an agreement.

This week’s talks are the last scheduled negotiating round ahead of the autumn, although both sides have previously said talks would continue in September.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will have dinner with UK counterpart David Frost on Tuesday evening, with talks set to conclude on Friday.

After the last negotiation round in London, Mr Barnier accused the UK of not showing a “willingness to break the deadlock” over difficult issues.

He added that an agreement would be needed by October “at the latest” so it could be ratified before the current post-Brexit transition period ends in December.

Mr Frost said EU offers to break the deadlock had failed to honour the “fundamental principles which we have repeatedly made clear”.

But he said the UK, which has so far insisted on a series of separate deals in different areas, was also willing to consider a “simpler” structure for an agreement.

He added the EU had shown a “pragmatic approach” over British demands to limit the role of the European Court of Justice after the transition period ends.

Among the issues the negotiating sides will discuss this week are transport, police co-operation, fishing rights and rules on investment.

They will also discuss post-Brexit rules on competition and state support for companies, one of the thorniest issues in the talks to date.

The UK is due to stop following EU rules on so-called “state aid” at the end of the transition period, and has not unveiled details of its subsequent regime.

Mr Barnier has said the EU will require “robust” guarantees in this area if it is to agree a deal, and has called for more details on the UK’s future plans.

Media and Political Bulletin – 18 August 2020

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

See the Infographic

Apply to become a Member

Membership of the HDA guarantees your organisation:

  • Access to leading policy and industry forums of debate and discussion
  • Invitations to a range of networking industry events organised through the year, including an Annual Conference and a Business Day
  • Representation on HDA working parties, including the Members’ Liaison Group
  • A daily Political and Media Bulletin and HDA Newsletters
  • Access to HDA policy documents and all sections of the HDA website
  • Branding and marketing opportunities
Apply Now

Already a Member?