No-deal Brexit will risk lives and cause deaths, outgoing Chief Medic warns
A no-deal Brexit will see patients die, England's outgoing Chief Medical Officer has warned.
Professor Dame Sally Davies said that Britain crashing out the EU without agreement will see shortages in medicine, medical technology and other health care essentials.
It comes as the chances of no-deal rose – with EU chiefs warning that Britain's 'final offer' was unlikely to be accepted by the block.
Professor Davies said the health service had worked hard to prepare – but that deaths in were likely to be unavoidable.
She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "The health service and everyone has worked very hard to prepare.
"But I say what I've said before, that we cannot guarantee that there will not be shortages not only in medicines but technology and gadgets and things.
"And there may be deaths, we can't guarantee there won't."
Pressed if lives are at risk, she firmly replied: "They are at risk."
The Department of Health and Social Care has commissioned its own courier service for transporting particularly urgent medicines and goods in the event Britain leaves the EU without agreement.
If Britain does leave without a deal the UK will leave the customs union and single market, the measures which currently keep trade and medical supplies flowing freely.
In September the National Audit Office warned that despite government contingencies the threat to the supply of vital medicines still remained.
Of the 12,300 medicines currently licensed for use in the UK, around 7,000 come to Britain either from or through the EU – with the vast majority being shipped across the Channel.
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