Post-Brexit medicine may be supplied by firm that forced 500 KFCs to close when they ran out of chicken

Posted On 27 Feb 2019 at 8:32 pm

The delivery firm that forced 500 KFC branches to close when they ran out of chicken has won a contract to import medicines if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal.

The “bargain bucket” choice was criticised by Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons today (Wednesday 27 February).

Making reference to the KFC crisis a year ago, the Green MP said that the decision to rely on DHL would put lives at risk.

She said: “The government has just decided that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, imports of medical supplies are to be handled by the same company that forced hundreds of restaurants to close because it was incapable of delivering chicken to Kentucky Fried Chicken.

“It is horrifying that the Prime Minister’s stubbornness is literally putting people’s lives at risk through bargain-bucket supply deals.

“What guarantee can she give patients who are watching us now, looking at the pantomime and farce in this House, that they will be able to get their vital medicines when they need them in the event of that no-deal Brexit?”

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The Department of Health and Social Care is taking the steps necessary to ensure that medicines are available.

“We have been clear before that it is not necessary to stockpile and that patients should not be stockpiling medicines. Medicines will be available.

“If the honourable lady is so concerned about the impact of no deal … it is no good the honourable lady shaking her head.

“There is a very simple answer: if she does not want no deal, she should support the deal.”

Health chiefs have asked drug companies to ensure that they have an extra six-week supply of medicines in case of disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The exchange followed earlier concerns about a Brexit-related shipping contract with a ferry company that had no ferries.

The Department for Transport gave a £13.8 million contract to Seaborne Freight, a start-up with a marine consultant from Hove – 64-year-old Glenn Dudley – on its board.

The DfT has since scrapped its contract with Seaborne after its financial backer, the Irish firm Arklow Shipping, withdrew its support.

The episode led to renewed calls for the government’s Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to resign.

He also came under sustained fire over his handling over the problems on the railways between Brighton and Hove and London.

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