The Brexit Party MEP and PPC Dr David Bull has responded to the Mirror’s ‘No Deal’ scare story – which claims there could be “no deal” drugs shortages – slamming the headline as “deeply irresponsible” and misleading.

The qualified Doctor has had in-depth talks with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS about preparations for Brexit.

He said: ‘The Mirror has today splashed a deeply irresponsible and misleading headline on the front page, claiming a Clean-Break Brexit could “kill” and lead to “no drugs” for people in the UK.

‘There are current supply problems with certain types of medicine, but these are noting to do with Brexit.

‘Today’s alarmist headlines, blaming problems on the UK’s democratic decision to leave the EU, do not help.

‘The Mirror article was based on a series of anecdotal quotes from sympathetic medics and a misrepresented worst-case scenario forecast by the National Audit Office.

‘The medical establishment and government have sensibly made preparations – including special freight services, air services, and extra stocks – for the possible short-term effects of a Clean-Brexit Brexit, which do not get a mention in the article.

‘Other sections of the article are one-sided and no balance is offered.

‘One quote in the article, for example, claims antibiotics could be in short supply after we Leave with a clean-break – but the UK imports many antibiotics from India, not the EU.

‘Trying to make members of the public literally scared for their lives in this way, for political reasons, is ill-advised, to put it mildly.

‘The UK is leaving the EU. Rather than scaremongering, we should be focused on making the most of the opportunities ahead, including sourcing and buying drugs from new markets, closed off by the EU.’

For Background

Pharmaceutical Trade is Reciprocal

  • We import 37 million units of medicine a month to the EU
  • We export 45 million units of medicine a month to the EU
  • 73% of pharmaceutical products come from the EU

It has already been stated that we will continue to conform to and have mutual recognition of EU pharmaceutical standards.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) already leads 25% of the EMA assessments out of the 28 Member States.

We represent a market share of £41.8 million and host large pharmaceutical companies such as:

  • GSK
  • Shire
  • Lonza

Generics, Global Market and Tariffs

A third of the world’s generic pharmaceuticals are made in India, which is on course to make half by 2050.

We can also import biosimilars (insulin, vaccines and blood) from:

  • Japan
  • Switzerland
  • Israel
  • USA

There are 10,000 tariff free medicines under WTO rules, as well as interim free tariffs under Article 24 of the GATT agreement.


Dr David Bull has received written confirmation from the EFPIA (the largest representative of EU pharmaceuticals) that the public and private sectors have made necessary arrangements in the following areas:

  • Short term work arounds regarding batch testing and mutual recognition of standards
  • The EU does not have all the necessary facilities to completely move production and testing out of the UK
  • Called on the Commission to ensure the free movement of medicines even in a no-deal scenario

24hr Supply Lines

The UK Government has set up 24hr supply chains to ensure medicine, including:

  • Special freight services with special documentation to cross the borders
  • Special air services
  • Six weeks to a year of stocks of medicines


It has confirmed that the UK has a 16 week stock of insulin and will continue to increase that stock if they deem necessary.

European Pharmaceutical Companies

They have confirmed that the UK is too big a market to lose, which they have no interest in losing trade with due to “political issues.”