Jittery Minister stockpiles BABY MILK
HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has ordered the stockpiling of formula milk to stop babies going hungry if Britain crashes out of the EU, leaked plans reveal.
The move came after Environment Secretary Michael Gove warned the Cabinet that 80 per cent of baby milk was imported from Europe and was at risk of running out if ports were blocked by a disorderly Brexit.
Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Mr Hancock has given the green light to buy 5,000 giant fridges costing over £1 million to stockpile medicines. A further £8.9 million is being spent to help the Department of Health store drugs and medical supplies in warehouses.
It will not be possible to claw back the money if Britain does leave the EU with a deal, but insiders insisted the bill came to less than half of the £21 million earmarked by the Treasury for the task. When he was first appointed to the Cabinet earlier this year, Mr Hancock gave a speech declaring that as NHS boss he was now the legal owner of the ‘world’s largest collection of fax machines’ thanks to its outdated practices. Last night, a source close to the Health Secretary joked he could add ‘ the world’s largest private collection of fridges to that’. A Government spokesman confirmed: ‘As part of our contingency plans, we are working closely with manufacturers and supply chains to ensure that in the unlikely event of a no deal, supplies of baby formula will continue uninterrupted.’
He added: ‘Our planning will also ensure that on the day the UK leaves the EU, we will have all the necessary resources to continue to protect UK consumers from food safety risks and give them access to specialist food products.’