“People’s Vote is only route out of this Brexit mess” and comment on food and medicines stockpiling 

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.


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”: 

Medicines stockpiling 

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 

Food stockpiling 

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


Article 50 – Daisy’s reaction

Responding to the triggering of Article 50, Daisy Cooper, St Albans Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate said:

“Local people and businesses are telling me that BREXIT will have a huge impact and will damage the character and fabric of our city.

“Many independent shops and businesses are run by EU nationals who have made St Albans their home but the Conservative BREXIT government has refused to guarantee their right to stay; at the same time major employers are concerned about the rising cost of goods due to inflation and the future supply of workers.

“The Prime Minister wrongly said today that there’s no going back but democracy didn’t die on 23rd June and it didn’t die today. The fact is that the final deal must be signed off by someone and given the choice between the Prime Minister, MPs, or the people, only the Liberal Democrats are fighting to make sure the people can have their say over what comes next.”

Swine flu update: note from District Council

Swine Flu Vaccination programme

A national public information campaign is planned for November onwards to explain to patients in the priority groups (see my update of last week) the importance of having the vaccination.


The PCT is seeing similar numbers of people collecting antivirals as last week – under 100 across the county per day. Nationally we know there has been a significant jump in the numbers of people using the flu service over the past week, but this increase is not currently being felt in Hertfordshire.

A number of further pharmacies have joined the expanding antiviral collection point (ACP) network, bringing the total number of ACPs in Hertfordshire to eleven. The local ACPs are at:

Hatfield – Asda Pharmacy (8am to 10pm, Mon to Sat; 10am to 4pm, Sunday)

Hemel Hempstead – Lloyds Pharmacy (8.30am to 9pm, Mon to Fri 9am to 8pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday)

Rickmansworth – Delite Chemist (10am to 6pm, Mon to Fri; 10am to 3pm, Saturday; Closed, Sunday)

Stevenage – Asda Pharmacy (9am to 10pm, Monday; 8am to 10pm, Tues to Fr; 8am to 9pm Saturday; 10am to 4pm, Sunday)

Watford – Boots – Waterfields Retail Park, (8am to midnight, Mon to Sat; 11am to 5pm, Sunday)

The NHS in Hertfordshire, along with all other areas of the country, has agreed plans with the Department of Health to double critical care capacity, should it be required at the height of the next pandemic wave.

The Council continues to assess the position on an on-going basis, and weekly at the Chief Executive’s Board meeting.

Court appearance for former UKIP MEP for St Albans

From the BBC:

A British member of the European Parliament has been charged with false accounting and money laundering.

Tom Wise, 60, from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire, was elected for UKIP in 2004 but is now sitting as an Independent MEP for East Anglia.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the UK police inquiry followed a news report in 2005 concerning Mr Wise’s use of allowances.

The MEP has been charged along with his then researcher Lindsay Jenkins.

News article

Both are accused of one count of false accounting and one count of money laundering.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between October 2004 and September 2005.

Derek Frame, from the CPS, said: “Following the publication of a news article in October 2005 relating to Mr Wise and Ms Jenkins, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) began an investigation into Mr Wise’s use of allowances.

“OLAF subsequently passed the investigation to Bedfordshire Police Economic Crime Unit for investigation. ”

Mr Wise, who represents Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, is one of seven MEPs who cover the eastern region.

He was unavailable to comment on the matter.

Mr Wise and Ms Jenkins are due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 27 April.