Liverpool Echo

Brexit phoney war getting all too real

SITTING in a restaurant having a family meal, my son whipped out his insulin pen, dialled up a dose and injected. He didn’t break stride, regaling us as he did so about his plans to go to Leeds Festival and his opinion on the Reds’ chances of winning the Premiership.

We take it for granted now, this life-saving liquid that he shoves in his body and which, as a Type 1 diabetic, keeps him well.

He orders it at his pharmacy and then, a couple of days later, it arrives.

But what if it didn’t? What if there wasn’t enough to go round? Or there was a delay in delivery?

It doesn’t bear thinking about – and yet think about it we must.

Sir Michael Rawlins, chair of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said this week that in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit the supply of medicines such as insulin could be disrupted.

This is because it isn’t manufactured in the UK and transporting it is complicated. Stockpiling is already underway.

It won’t just be insulin, either.


There must be lots of medication brought in from Europe as well as other medical supplies and devices.

The mere fact that this is being discussed is frightening enough. The idea that it might actually happen is beyond comprehension.

Until now, Brexit has been a far-off concept for many.

Two years ago when the country inexplicably decided to put two fingers up to the EU the perceived reality of what it would mean was, at best, vague and at worst horribly misguided.

But here in 2018 things are starting to crystalise. And it’s not a pretty picture.

Food may have to be stockpiled. Motorways will become ‘holding areas’ for trucks to ease the gridlock as 10,000 lorries a day are delayed by customs checks. The new world order will impact on aviation and driving licenses, sterling and passports. As for the 5 million EU and UK expats? Well, God knows.

Of course this might all be a phoney war, gamesmanship down there in Westminster among the no-dealers, the pro-Brexiteers, the Remainers.

For the rest of us, thought, it’s just plain terrifying.
“Oof,” said the current Mr Lee as he clambered between the sheets on our return from our week’s holiday. “There’s nothing like you’re own bed, is there?” I don’t know when this happened but I appear to be married to a middle-aged man.

This column first appeared in the Liverpool Echo on 4 August 2018.