Analysis comment

EU says Hancock’s claim is false: Tory govt has still NOT joined PPE procurement scheme

EU says UK hasn’t joined – and can’t, because Tories delayed too long. Statement makes clear civil servant’s ‘retraction’ was forced and untrue

Senior Foreign Office civil servant Sir Simon McDonald embarrassed the government by admitting (video) to a parliamentary committee that the Tories had made ‘a political decision’ not to join an EU scheme to obtain vital protective equipment (PPE) for front-line health staff fighting the coronavirus.

The Tories had claimed that a ‘communications’ problem had prevented them receiving an invitation – but McDonald told MPs that the government was fully aware of the scheme, had been briefed on its specifically, but had refused to join.

At least 111 health staff have died as the weeks-long shortages of suitable PPE continue.

Hours later, McDonald retracted his direct statement to MPs, saying it had been ‘inadvertently’ wrong. Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed this week that the UK belatedly joined the scheme on an ‘associate’ basis.

But an EU statement has blown Hancock’s claim out of the water – and made it clear that McDonald’s original statement was entirely accurate.

The EU said that the UK had not joined any of the four schemes it is operating – or even asked to in spite of repeated invitations – and that it was far too late for it to do so even if it wanted to:

the deadlines have well passed now and indeed the process is well under way.

Simon McDonald’s answer to the committee of MPs was true and the retraction was a forced sham. The Tories have been caught in a lie.


And in this national crisis, such lies – and the actions they are meant to hide – cost lives. They must be considered a criminal matter.

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  1. There is a good article on the BBC website that covers the above in some detail.

    “The EU Commission has confirmed that the UK is not involved in any of them, and has not officially requested to be involved in any of them, despite being “repeatedly invited” by the EU to do so.

    The first meeting to establish this joint procurement plan took place at the end of January, two days before the UK left the EU and entered the transition phase. Several other EU meetings on procurement took place, to which a UK representative was “not always there” according to EU officials.

    On the 17 March, the procurement procedure was launched, and member states started a public tendering process for suppliers.

    This scheme was international, so suppliers worldwide could take part. The selection process took five days, and the EU commission took five days to co-ordinate, having allowed the fast-tracking of procedures.

    The EU Commission says they are now waiting for member states to put in their orders for the PPE and medical equipment they need. The first allocations will be in the “coming days and weeks”.

    The EU hasn’t put a figure on the total bulk of purchases they’ve made yet, because “some countries are still finding more suppliers”, but it’s understood to be worth hundreds of millions of euros.

    The EU says the UK can be part of a “procurement programme in future”, as there are ongoing discussions about what else might be needed. There’s now nothing formal for the UK to sign up to, at the moment.

    The boat has been missed on the current programme.

    1. But still doesn’t explain why many UK companies have offered PPE and ventilators that are sitting in their warehouses?? Tens of thousands of PPE! When asked about this Matt Hancock said it must have gone in his spam mail???????? What are we dealing with here ?? All those emails went in his spam???? The EU did indeed offer not just once either to help the UK out with PPE and ventilators, they didn’t have to?

  2. in this national crisis, such lies – and the actions they are meant to hide – cost lives. MUST be considered a criminal matter

  3. Surely the lesson from this is how easy it is for a corrupt government to lean on officials to lie and how ready some officials are to toe the line.

  4. I just don’t know who to believe, surely if our gov’t ministers were lying then our MSM would call them to account……..or have they delegated that role to Piers Morgan?

    1. Our MSM hasn’t held this government to account for anything, not from day one!! Boho has lied through his teeth over and over and over again! How many times have we seen him since he was elected( sic) he had a 2 week holiday immediately after, another 2 week holiday in January, February saw him saying the UK was the country to do herd immunity and make money,,March ??? April disposed with the Corona virus🙄….. Cummings runs his country, not BoJo!

  5. Where does the official secrets act come into this ?
    Are we looking at David Kelly moment?
    Now we can make our own laws let’s see how the government extricates itself from this.
    Where’s sicknote?

  6. Boriski will tell you we have to ‘man up’ and tell the EU to get lost — we don’t need them. We’ve got plenty of our own clout around the world, except, of course, that the Turkish PPE incident proves that we don’t. If we had the political power, the Turks would have sent two plane loads of PPE, instead of a half a planeload. Who got the rest? Well, perhaps those big beasts, the EU or the US. Doesn’t bode well for future world trade discussions does it Mr Malingerer?

    1. In a ‘Green’ environment, it makes sense to be self sufficient, but the EU is a globalist enterprise based on cheap labour.

  7. Duty of Candour
    Robert Francis (report) – organisation failing to meet a fundamental standard, leading to “death or serious harm” (recommendation 13), also that “currently breach of this sort of requirement leaves an organisation open to regulatory interventions, and in the last resort prosecution for regulatory offences” (para 21.82), such as corporate manslaughter of offences under the Health and Safety legislation.

  8. In relation to the “duty of candour” desired by above, it would be useless without denying “commercial confidentiality” to every company, ‘foreign and domestic’ wishing to do any kind of business with the NHS or any UK government, nationalised industry, the civil service, the armed forces, police etc etc etc. – any entity of any kind with a duty of care to the citizenry.
    The Tories hide behind it all the time, the weaselly little pussies.

    1. Oh yeh – anyone think Movianto sounds too much like Monsanto to be coincidence?
      That it’s owned by a “US healthcare company,” that the warehouse was sold to Warrington Council, that the contract was sold to the French when BloJob needed to claim he wasn’t selling the NHS to the US…
      And that the Tories STILL can’t get their hands on any of the PPE?

      What’s the betting it’s been sold abroad and our NHS will get substandard stuff from Turkey?

  9. the herd don’t need to hear this – nature will do it’s job. just be kind and let them down gently

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