Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar has admitted Ireland is stockpiling vital drugs in case of a doomsday Brexit.
He said the government is making “contingency plans” to ensure access to medicines in case of a hard Brexit in which Britain exits the European Union without any divorce deal.
Varadkar’s disclosure came after British Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that her government is stockpiling food and drugs in case negotiations with the EU fail. He said Ireland will have no issue in accessing food supplies.
But Varadkar admitted for the first time that Ireland is adopting a similar medicines plan due to the risk the country is unable to easily access drugs from Britain because of expected new restrictions and changed supply chains.
“There is potentially a concern around medicines, because a lot of our supply chains go through the United Kingdom, and you know some companies see the U.K. and Ireland as a single market,” he said.
“So that is a concern that we have and it’s one that we are developing contingency plans on. Part of our contingency planning does involve making sure that we have a supply of medicines.”
Former World Trade Organization director-general Pascal Lamy warned separately that Ireland will need emergency financial aid if no Brexit deal is struck.
He told RTE Radio, “We all know exit with no trade deal is the most costly version.”
Ireland would be the worst hit both in quantity and proportion and then there should be some sort of EU solidarity assistance.
It was “pie in the sky” to claim there will be no hard border if there is no Brexit deal. He said no example exists in the world where areas with no trade deal have an open border.