We know now that a panicked Matt Hancock did tell his department to pressurise PPE suppliers to prioritise English orders and to refuse health care orders from the three devolved nations. The evidence was clear:
Now we hear in the report from yesterday’s Holyrood health committee that two UK departments, funded by the Scottish taxpayer, with extensive overseas trade links have been told not to support Scottish attempts to buy PPE
Headlined by the Scotsman but behind their paywall when covid-related reports are expected to be freely available, the story does not, of course feature on the BBC Scotland site on this day of VE distraction, but is available in full at the Scottish Government site. Key points from Jeane Freeman’s statement below:
We have raised a specific issue with the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, about a decision that was taken with respect to the Department for International Trade overseas network and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issuing advice not to support new procurement requests from devolved administrations.
The Department for International Trade’s overseas networks should be supporting the devolved Administrations, as parts of the UK.