States gives details of how essentials will be safeguarded
MORE details on steps being taken to safeguard medicines, food, fuel, water and electricity under a no-deal Brexit have been set out.
A no-deal Brexit guide for the community produced by the States has set out information around the island’s contingency planning as crunch talks between the UK and European Union continue, with MPs set to meet on Saturday to discuss any outcome of those discussions. The UK is currently due to leave the EU on 31 October.
On heating and vehicle fuel, the guide said that the authorities ‘don’t anticipate any significant disruption’ to the island’s supply after Brexit.
‘To be on the safe side, we are already working closely with everyone involved in the supply chain for fuel coming to Guernsey to make sure we have plans in place to cope if there is any disruption.’
The document has confirmed government was working closely with Guernsey Electricity, which generates power on-island and imports from France when a sub-sea cable is operating, to safeguard the power supply.
‘Guernsey is not part of the EU so there will be no need to change the commercial arrangements already in place for the purchase and supply of power from France,’ it said.
‘We are working closely with Guernsey Electricity Ltd, who are already taking steps to make sure they have the fuel supply needed to generate all of our electricity locally after 31 October, if needed, and access to the spare parts they need for unexpected repairs.’
The guide repeated reassurances that food shortages were not expected in the event of a no-deal Brexit, although ‘there might be less choice on the supermarket shelves for short periods if there are delays at some UK ports’.
The guide said that fresh produce was likely to be the most affected. If this happens, there will also be less choice for people who need to eat gluten-free food or who have other food allergies, but it should still be possible to buy food that meet those specific needs.
For those taking prescribed medicines, including food available only on prescription, or using medical devices, patients were reassured that they ‘should still be able to get these in the same way’ as now.
Guernsey is part of the NHS supply chain for essential medicines and equipment, said the guide, with the island part of the UK’s contingency planning in this area, including stock management undertaken by NHS suppliers.
Island officials had been in weekly contact with the UK Department of Health & Social Care to ensure provision for the Bailiwick so ‘access to essential supplies can continue as normal’.
The States is also working closely with all parties involved in the importation of such supplies to ensure there is no hold-up at Portsmouth in the event of congestion sparked by a no-deal Brexit.
‘Occasionally, there are temporary shortages of specific medicines. If this happens after Brexit there is no need for individual intervention, your GP will know which is the best alternative medicine for you and will be able to talk to you about this. We do not anticipate a shortage of medicines as a result of a no-deal Brexit.’
On water, sewage and waste, no changes are expected.
Extra stocks of materials used in fresh water supplies are being stored and access to spare parts for unexpected repairs to production equipment ensured to ensure no disruption in this area.
For sewage and waste, the government has ensured suppliers and service providers have made their own plans to cope with any disruption after Brexit so these ‘essential services carry on as normal’.