Darren Adam 1am - 4am
Lack of coronavirus preparation "nothing to do with Brexit", insists David Davis
19 April 2020, 09:53
Former Brexit Secretary David Davis scoffed at the idea that Brexit is to blame for the UK not being prepared for coronavirus.
Andrew Castle tackled the idea that Brexit planning "sucked all the pandemic planning out of the government" and was duly accompanied for an answer, by former Brexit Secretary David Davis.
Mr Davis insisted that there was no way that Brexit can be blamed for a lack of coronavirus planning, arguing that in fact the opposite was true. Things like the UK's "lack of vaccine planning was thrown up by Brexit planning" and thus motivated government to prepare better for a pandemic.
The former Brexit Secretary insisted that governments should be able to "walk and chew" suggesting that even if a lot of resources were put into Brexit strategy, there has to be other sections of government working on important things such as pandemic preparations.
He maintained and stressed the point to Andrew that the UK's lack of preparation in the coronavirus pandemic has "got nothing to do with Brexit"
Andrew asked Mr Davis what he thought of the revelations that "training for this has been neglected for years" in pandemic preparation and that the UK had even been complacent in its response to coronavirus.
David Davis insisted that "governments have run emergency planning operations" for years and that the situation is no different today, but the question of whether weaknesses found have been addressed is another thing completely.
The former Brexit Secretary insisted that there should be a permanent state of preparedness in government for things like coronavirus and stocks in pandemic response equipment "should not be allowed to decline just because you didn't have an emergency last year".