Andrew Pierce 1pm - 4pm
Iain Dale grills health secretary over accessibility of drugs post Brexit
13 January 2020, 20:59
Iain Dale grilled the health secretary over whether drugs that are easily accessible on the NHS will really be available post-Brexit.
"Can you reassure my listeners that even if a full trade deal isn't done, they will still be able to access all the drugs that they access now?" asked Iain, citing listeners who admitted to him previously that they were worried about receiving essential treatment such as insulin.
"I can give you that reassurance. There was an awful lot of work done on this ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit. But we are leaving with a deal on 31st January," Matt Hancock said, "it's great that's passed through the Commons with a massive majority.
"Now we are working on getting the future relationship in place but we are leaving with a deal. That means that we can have a smooth transition to the new arrangement."
Iain asked about 31st December as "that's the deadline Boris Johnson has set"; if we leave at that time without a full trade deal in place, "how can you be absolutely 100% sure the drug trade both to this country and from this country won't be impeded by a lack of a deal at that point?"
Matt Hancock assured Iain that "there's no reason for any impediment."
"There's no debate anymore about whether we are leaving as there was last time. In the run up to a potential no-deal both at the end of March and at the end of October, there were people trying to campaign to keep us in the European Union.
"That's not going to happen. We're leaving at the end of the month and then we'll have an agreement with the EU and I'm confident we'll deliver that in a year."