Our Future, Our Choice stages stockpiling protest outside Department of Health

Our Future, Our Choice stages stockpiling protest outside Department of Health

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Our Future, Our Choice, the youth group campaigning for a second referendum, staged a protest this morning outside the Department of Health and Social Care.

Members of the campaign group piled boxes and medical supplies on the pavement outside the building, and held banners reading ‘No one voted for stockpiling’ in a demonstration against the possible effects Brexit could have on the free movement of goods.

Speaking on the talkRADIO breakfast show, Femi Oluwole, co-founder of Our Future, Our Choice, said: “Right now, one third of our food comes from mainland Europe and we also rely on mainland Europe for our medicines. Euratom [the European atomic energy agency] is the reason we get radioactive materials for cancer treatments.

 

'Checking every lorry will create chaos'

“We’re part of the European Medicines Agency, right now all that food and all those medicines pass through Dover completely freely.

“There’s no checks because we’re in a common market with the same rules on either side of the border. What happens if you suddenly have to start checking every single lorry that goes through, that’s what creates chaos.

“That will slow down the process and endanger food security in this country. That’s why we’re hearing we’re going to end up stockpiling food.”

He added that extra food being stored would increase suppliers’ costs, meaning it could be more expensive.

 

'Leave voters wanted things to be better'

Presenters Jon Craig and Jane Moore challenged him, saying the UK had already voted, and that there was always a chance a leave result could end in no deal.

“When people say that people voted leave and it doesn’t matter what happens, that’s calling 17m people unpatriotic,” Oluwole responded.

“I believe [Leave voters] wanted things to get better in this country, I believe they wanted a better NHS.

“Right now, we’re in a situation where our NHS desperately relies on citizens from other countries, it relies on the European Medicines Agency [for] the drugs it needs. It relies on the Euratom project to get radioactive drugs for cancer.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has said the UK will leave Euratom when it leaves the EU, prompting some experts to say the importation of cancer medicines could be affected.

At a press conference in Brussels yesterday, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said stockpiling fears were "scare stories". Brexiteers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Iain Duncan Smith have also said that no deal would not have any adverse effects as the UK would revert to World Trade Organisation rules.

Listen to Oluwole speaking on the breakfast show above.