The Scottish Government should approach the EU directly with a view to Scotland participating in future PPE procurement rounds, according to Scottish Greens Co-Leader Patrick Harvie MSP.
Mr Harvie raised the matter with the Cabinet Secretary for Europe and External Affairs at a Holyrood virtual questions sessions this afternoon, highlighting that the UK Government failed to participate in the PPE procurement scheme despite suffering acute shortages and asking that the Scottish Government considered going it alone in future where this is in Scotland’s interest and the UK Government is not engaged.
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
“In March the European Union launched a successful joint procurement initiative for the acquisition of PPE including masks, gloves, goggles, face-shields, and overalls. Producers made offers that exceeded what the participating countries were looking for, and deliveries have since been made. The UK Government failed to participate in the scheme in spite of acute shortages.
“It has been suggested that the UK Government failed to take part as it missed an email, although the various contradictory statements by UK Ministers leave many questions to be answered. Regardless of what’s going on behind this confusion, it is absurd not to seek to join a scheme that could ease the concerns of frontline health and care workers by providing essential supplies of PPE.
“If the UK Government continues with its refusal to join the EU procurement scheme, then the Scottish Government must explore how it might go it alone.”