4 May 2021, 11:35 | Updated: 4 May 2021, 13:13
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss has told LBC that the Government’s ‘dependence on a few critical supply chains’ almost caused paracetamol supplies to run dry last year.
Speaking to LBC’s Nick Ferrari, Liz Truss said: “What we realised last year is that we were very dependent on a few critical supply chains for key goods. We are now making sure that we have those critical supply chains in place – we have done a lot of work on this under the title of ‘Project Offend’.
“India gave us huge help last year when we were short of products like paracetamol, the Indian government expedited delivery to the UK.”
Commenting on the UK’s £1 billion trade deal with India announced yesterday, Nick Ferrari said: “This is obviously great news, but the timing is perhaps a little questionable, in that the poor souls in India in some instances are having to burn their relatives in their back gardens.”
Responding to this, Liz Truss said: “I completely agree the situation in India is heartbreaking at present, and we are also working very hard to get crucial supplies. We sent over 600 pieces of oxygen equipment, we’ve got more on the way this week.
“I see this as part of a real partnership between our two nations. India is the largest democracy in the world, they’re a key ally of the United Kingdom, we want to help them through the appalling situation they’re facing with Covid at the moment.”
Liz Truss outlined that trade with India “helps fix some of these problems” and is “part of the solution”, referencing the £240m investment by the Serum Institute of India as part of the trade deal, which will support clinical trials, research and possibly the manufacturing of vaccines.