Doctor involved in plotting no-deal Brexit strategy claims government is stockpiling bodybags

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking outside his official residence in London's Downing Street. (PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking outside his official residence in London's Downing Street. (PA)

A doctor involved in the emergency planning for a no-deal Brexit has claimed the government is stockpiling bodybags.

Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on Tuesday, former adviser Dr David Nicholl, said the extraordinary measure was being taken over fears of an increased mortality rate under no-deal.

“The government is stockpiling body bags for the risk of an increased mortality rate under no-deal Brexit,” Dr Nicholl claimed.

“Those who support no-deal Brexit need to be aware what level of harm they are willing to accept,” he added.

British lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg, Leader of the House of Commons, leaves the Cabinet Office in London, Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. Political opposition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move to suspend Parliament is crystalizing, with protests around Britain and a petition to block the move gaining more than 1 million signatures. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Yesterday Dr Nicholl clashed with Jacob Rees-Mogg over the possibility of an increased mortality rate in the event of a no-deal Brexit. (PA)

Dr Nicholl, a consultant neurologist with Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, reportedly contributed to “Operation Yellowhamer”, the government’s emergency Brexit planning.

He claimed that, in the event of no-deal, the government was anticipating shortages in medical supplies which would put health professionals in an “uncomfortable ethical position”.

It comes just a day after Dr Nicholl phoned into Jacob Rees-Mogg’s LBC radio show to confront him about claims no-deal would not lead to an increased mortality rate.


Johnson Loses Majority Ahead of No-Deal Showdown: Brexit Update

Boris Johnson sparks outrage after forcing suspension of UK parliament

Boris Johnson fails to quash Tory rebellion over no-deal Brexit

Mr Rees-Mogg said this was "the worst excess of Project Fear" and the doctor should be "quite ashamed".

“I don’t think there is any reason that a no-deal Brexit should lead to a mortality rate,” Mr Rees-Mogg added.

But when questioned about why he believed no-deal would cause more deaths, Dr Nicholl said: “Because of all sorts of problems and there is issues of access to drugs, the issue of radioisotopes, they’ve already been highlighted.”

Stephen Hammond (Conservative) speaks as he appears on behalf of candidate for Mayor of London Zac Goldsmith during the London Mayoral Housing Hustings at St John's, London.
Earlier this year, former health minister Stephen Hammond listed bodybags among several medical items being stockpiled by the government. (PA)

Back in February bodybags were included on a list of medical supplies which former health minister Stephen Hammond claimed the government was stockpiling.

Writing to a fellow Tory MP, Mr. Hammond said at the time: “The Department is working with its partners across Government, in the health sector and in industry to prepare for any possible disruption in the supply chain.

“While this does not mean that we are expecting such disruption, the Government is preparing for all exit scenarios.

“These include sensible strategies for devices and consumables, including body bags, that come to the UK from or through the EU, such as precautionary stockpiling by suppliers, to ensure that the supply of essential products is not disrupted.”

Yahoo News UK has contacted the Department for Health for comment.

---Watch the latest videos from Yahoo UK---