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April 7, 2020 4:05 PM

/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/budget-climate-change-amendment-300x300.jpgLocal Doctor David Nicholl has called for Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid and the Conservative Government to sign up to EU procurement schemes to acquire ventilators and other equipment to tackle coronavirus (Covid-19).

The suggestion comes after 25 EU countries signed up to a joint scheme to buy ventilators, protective gear for medical staff and coronavirus testing kits. The UK, whilst no longer a member of the EU, continues to follow EU law and participates in the internal market and customs union making it eligible to join this scheme if the Government wishes to.

The UK was invited to take part in the scheme, which is leveraging the 500 million-person single market's huge buying power to secure faster and cheaper orders with less admin at a time of extreme global demand.

Former Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Bromsgrove Dr Nicholl questioned the UK's reasoning for not participating in this scheme.

"As someone who is directly involved in the care of suspected Covid-19 patients and planning for the pandemic in the coming weeks, I am disappointed that the government has not signed up to this initiative. In a war you work with everyone to defeat it, even if your enemy is Covid-19. Instead, it appears Conservatives have chosen not to work with our European neighbours."

Dr Nicholl also praised local company G-tech for focussing their production on ventilators to tackle the virus.

The Bromsgrove Lib Dems have expressed their support for the Government's strategy of lockdown and self-isolation but will continue to hold the Government to account to make sure our NHS is fully equipped to tackle this crisis.

Bromsgrove Lib Dems spokesperson Samuel Evans added

"We continue to support the Government's strategy of staying home to save lives and it is vital that we adhere to this.

We want to pay tribute to all those front-line workers and volunteers that have offered their services during these difficult times.

The Lib Dems must, however, raise questions where areas of the Government's strategy can be improved. The Government and local MP Sajid Javid should express the reasoning behind not joining this EU procurements scheme.

We continue to offer support to those affected by the crisis and urge those in need to get in contact with ourselves or other relevant local support networks. Together we will beat Covid-19."