Essential medications after Brexit – a worrying silence

Guardian letters:

“Regarding Patrick Cosgrove’s letter (I don’t want to go blind due to Brexit, 29 October), I would like to make a similar case about type 1 diabetes.

Like Theresa May, I have type 1 diabetes and am insulin-dependent. I emailed Matt Hancock as I am concerned about how supplies of insulin will be ensured once we leave the EU. Diabetes patients may be interested in the response I received from the Department of Health and Social Care (and in knowing that Keith Vaz has emailed to say he will be taking my concerns further). The reply said the contingency plans include “precautionary stockpiling by suppliers, to ensure that the supply of insulin to patients is not disrupted”. This is worrying as insulin needs to be refrigerated and my understanding is that very little insulin is produced in this country. Perhaps Mrs May could give us some answers?
Lisa Parker
Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

• Patrick Cosgrove is not alone in trying, and failing, to find out about the availability of drugs on which he is dependent in the event of a no-deal Brexit. I am in a similar position. Over three months ago, I wrote to my MP (Julian Sturdy) and asked for “an informed comment on certainty of supply of pharmaceuticals in the event of a hard or ‘no deal’ Brexit”. Over six weeks later he replied, asking for details, which I supplied. Another six weeks have passed, 29 March looms, and I still have no information. I am coming to the frightening conclusion that no one actually has a clue about what will happen.
Steven Burkeman

• Patrick Cosgrove raises the pressing issue of medication availability post-Brexit. My own four daily doses are made variously in Austria, Germany, Spain and Slovenia. Without them I’m in trouble. But what about my son and all the other transplant patients who must have their anti-rejection meds? And those with diabetes? I await my MP’s advice, not very hopefully.

Any hope out there, anyone?
David Moore
Somerton, Somerset

• Like Patrick Cosgrove, I have hereditary glaucoma and have been prescribed Ganfort for many years. Three months ago my prescription was changed to preservative-free Ganfort. It is currently proving very difficult to obtain this due to the complexities of the pharmaceutical industry. Thanks to a diligent pharmacist, I’ve not been let down yet; my medicine has arrived monthly, but since the change in prescription it has been very delayed. I now need to order it earlier to ensure I am not left without. Last month it came via a Spanish source.

I don’t want to go blind for this “cause” either. To the government: open your eyes and see (unless you have glaucoma).
Gill Sellen
Corfe Castle, Dorset”

MPs who accepted hospitality from the betting industry

A reduction from £100 per bet to £2 per bet, agreed by the government, has been postponed and the Minister for Sport has resigned saying vested interests were allowed to influence the decision. The current high rate is reckoned to lead to many suicides. It is thought the decision has been postponed to raise revenue for the government to assist with post-Brexit issues.

Sixteen MPs have declared hospitality received from the betting industry. Nine were Labour MPs, six Conservative and one SNP:

As if councils didn’t have enough to deal with!

“Councils are being warned to prepare for three months of disruption in a no deal Brexit , a leaked briefing has revealed.

Town hall chiefs have been told to plan for “reasonable worst case scenarios” including runs on food, petrol and the banks.

They should prepare to report to central government every eight hours – and could have to cancel leave over Easter, it says.

The shock briefing, circulated to council chiefs and leaked to the Municipal Journal, is made up of minutes from a recent Local Resilience Forum meeting.

Dozens of LRFs, which bring together councils, emergency services and the NHS, are aiding Whitehall’s No Deal plan Operation Yellowhammer – which is led by the same officials who would deal with a flu pandemic.

The minutes say councils should prepare for “reasonable, worst case scenarios” but “without setting panic”.

Public bodies should base their plans on “a 12 week disruption period” lasting until the end of May 2019, they add.

And some supplies of medicine may be increased by six weeks on top of the existing four to six weeks’ stock, the minutes suggest.

Local ‘Tactical Co-ordinating Groups’ would have to update Whitehall at “8 hourly intervals” and “a decision on leave arrangements may be needed” over Easter, the minutes add.

The UK is leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 and Easter is on 21 April.

A local government source said: “Councils are doing what they can with the limited information they are being given. We’re feeling really nervous and really impatient.”

Shadow Local Government Secretary Andrew Gwynne claimed the instructions were “too little too late”.

He added: “It’s frankly shocking that the local government sector has been starved of resilience support that they now so desperately need.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association, which represents councils, added: “We are working with Government and engaging with the expertise of local government to ensure we get these crucial negotiations right for local communities.”

A government spokeswoman said: “We remain confident that we will secure an agreement with the EU that works for the whole of the UK.

“Rightly, we are working with Local Resilience Forums across the country to ensure they are fully prepared.

“While it is the duty of responsible planners to consider the worst case scenarios, this is not a prediction of what is going to happen.”

Will hospitals be sold off to US interests after Brexit?

One pundit thinks so:

“Leading Brexiter Tories have revealed their plans to allow private US firms to take over NHS hospitals. They are also planning for the UK to adopt lower US environmental and food safety regulations and allow imports of things that are presently banned for health reasons such as chlorinated chicken into the country.

The radical plans were revealed in recommendations by a think tank called ‘The Initiative for Free Trade’.

The IFT was launched in September 2017 by a small but influential group of right-wing Conservative figures.

Who might those figures be?

None other than Tory party leadership contender Boris Johnson, Tory International Trade Secretary Liam Fox who both launched the think tank along with IFT president, Tory MEP Daniel Hannan.

with back information here from 2017:

“The Tories Have Accidentally Revealed The Personal Mobile Numbers Of Hundreds Of MPs And Journalists On Their Conference App”

These are the people charged with our Brexit it negotiations and keeping the UK safe!!!

“The Conservative party has accidentally allowed the personal mobile phone numbers of hundreds of MPs, journalists, and party members to be revealed to the public on its conference app.

A security flaw allowed anyone who downloaded the app to log in as any attendee to the party conference, which begins in Birmingham tomorrow, using only their email address. No password was required to view any attendee’s personal details, including their mobile phone number.

BuzzFeed News was able to access the personal mobile phone numbers of cabinet ministers, MPs, journalists, and Tory party members within seconds.

Users of the app are also able to change the privacy settings of other attendees using only their email address, allowing anyone else using the app to search their name and then view their mobile number.

An MP who had their personal phone number tweeted out told BuzzFeed News: “CCHQ genuinely can’t be trusted to do anything. This is a serious security breach and no laughing matter. Whoever is responsible needs to go.”

Labour MP Jon Trickett said: “How can we trust this Tory Government with our country’s security when they can’t even build a conference app that keeps the data of their members, MPs and others attending safe and secure?”

Journalist Dawn Foster reported being able to log in as Boris Johnson and then view his personal mobile number.”

Farmer Neil Parish might want to slap Michael Gove’s wrist!

“It’s beginning to dawn on many UK farmers that the British government might not be quite so clued up as they had been led to believe. Not only do they now doubt that the current levels of subsidies they receive will continue post-Brexit, they also worry that their needs for seasonal workers to pick vegetables and soft fruit have not been fully understood.

The latest cause for alarm has been a video produced by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to promote its vision for post-Brexit agriculture.

It’s all very nostalgically rustic, with fields of barley rippling in the wind and glorious sunsets. A vision of mellow fruitfulness. Except for one thing. Some sections of it were filmed overseas.

As the magazine Farmers’ Weekly has observed, the scene in which Defra promise that farmers can expect less red tape was actually footage of an inspector visiting a Slovenian cattle shed, while the section on British farmers being rewarded for improving air and water quality was filmed on a German farm. To complete the hat-trick of errors, the part where Defra promise kick-backs for farmers who try to prevent climate change was accompanied by a framer planting a Bonsai tree.

We pay these people.”