Daisy Cooper, St Albans Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate said:
Since the vote to leave the EU, Brexit has brought nothing but bad news. EU health workers have been leaving the NHS at an alarming rate, businesses are investing elsewhere and now we find out that the Conservative government’s deal would tie us to EU rules but without any influence to shape them or make deals with the rest of the world. Even more alarming are the Government’s plans to stockpile medicines and food in the event of a no-deal Brexit. As the deal gets ripped to shreds from MPs in every party including her own, it’s clear that the Prime Minister must now put her deal to a People’s Vote with the option to remain in the EU.
Responding to news of medicines and food stockpiling, Daisy said:
I recently asked the Government to publish the list of medicines to be stockpiled in the event of a no-deal Brexit so patients can plan their care, but the Government is refusing to publish it. It is almost incomprehensible that, despite being one of the richest country’s in the world, the Government is proposing to embark on a route that could lead to shortages in medicines and food. I have never known a more incompetent or reckless Government and yet some Conservative MPs insist on pursuing this path to a ‘blindfold Brexit’. Liberal Democrats demand better. The public should be asked to judge Theresa May’s deal in a People’s Vote so we can compare her deal with the deal we already enjoy.
Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrats Brexit Spokesperson spoke to St Albans Lib Dem activists on Thursday 15 November, on the same day that the government suffered seven cabinet resignations and rumours of a leadership challenge. Speaking to a packed room at Ayos restaurant he said:
For two years, the Liberal Democrats have been the only party who have consistently fought to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal and now it’s in touching distance. The Conservatives have instead spent that time peddling a false choice between no-deal or bad-deal, but even the Prime Minister now admits that there is a third option: no Brexit at all. The Conservative government is in melt-down as Conservative MPs realise that every form of Brexit will leave the country worse off. After seven Cabinet-level resignations in one day, it’s clear that the Prime Minister cannot keep her cabinet together let alone the country. The tide of public opinion on Brexit has turned and the only democratic route is to put the deal to a People’s Vote and ask the public whether they want her deal or want to remain in the EU.
County Councillor Chris White comments:
This is not about some vague concept of sovereignty. The Hertfordshire Local Economic Partnership estimates that more than 5,000 jobs in St Albans district could be adversely affected by changes in international trade arrangements – which is precisely what Brexit could mean, deal or no deal.
NOTES ON STOCKPILING
Daisy is particularly concerned about the Government’s plans to stockpile medicines and food in the event of a no-deal Brexit – an option pursued by a number of hard-Brexit Conservative MPs, known as the “European Research Group”:
Daisy has asked the Government to publish the list of all medicines listed for stockpiling in the event of a no-deal Brexit, so that patients can plan their medical needs. The Government has admitted that it does hold that information but has so far refused to publish it. Daisy is appealing that decision.
FOI question and correspondence is here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/drugs_listed_for_no_deal_brexit_2?nocache=incoming-1239180#incoming-1239180
The maker of Mr Kipling, Premier Foods Plc which is headquartered in St Albans has announced it has started stockpiling in the run up to Brexit. Reported in the BBC here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46191729