Novo Nordisk pledges insulin supply for Britain

The world's leading insulin maker, Novo Nordisk, guarantees supplies for British diabetics, including Prime Minister Theresa May, no matter what happens with Britain's tortured EU withdrawal process, its boss said on Friday.

Novo Nordisk pledges insulin supply for Britain
A Novo Nordisk employee controls a machine at an insulin production line in a plant in Kalundborg. File photo" Fabian Bimmer/Scanpix
“Nobody relying on our product should be worried,” Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen told AFP in an interview before the British deputies rejected May's plan for a British exit from the European Union a third time.
“As long as Brexit has not happened, we can move goods in and out so we keep your safety storage high,” the company's chief executive emphasised.
The Danish group has raised its storage capacity to 18 weeks of insulin, and “we have booked cool airline transport so if we go short we have insured that we can fly in” additional quantities, he added.
Amid heightened uncertainty over what will happen if and when Britain does finally leave the EU, stocks of essential medicines are being watched carefully by manufacturers, distributors and patients. 
Britain counts 3.7 million diabetics, including May, and Novo Nordisk supplies more than half the nation's needs.
Insulin is a hormone normally produced by the pancreas that regulates how bodies use carbohydrates found in certain kinds of food. Diabetics cannot produce sufficient levels of insulin themselves and are thus dependent on commercially manufactured supplements.
Novo Nordisk has no plans to launch production in Britain, Jørgensen said, but it does have an important research facility at Oxford that employs foreign staff who will be concerned by post-Brexit immigration policies.
He noted that “for the UK to stay a powerhouse in terms of research, the UK government needs to make sure people can get in and out.”

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‘We’ve found a solution’: Denmark extends deadline for post-Brexit residency

The Danish government announced on Monday that British nationals, who had missed a previous deadline to secure their post-Brexit residency status, will now have until the end of 2023 to apply or resubmit their late application.

'We've found a solution': Denmark extends deadline for post-Brexit residency

After the UK left the EU, Britons resident in Denmark before the end of 2020 were required to apply to extend their residence status in Denmark and receive a Danish residence card under the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

A significant number of British residents – at least 350, according to official figures released at the beginning of this year – did not apply before the original deadline of December 31st, 2021, however.

Many were subsequently given orders to leave Denmark and Danish immigration authorities came in for much criticism from rights groups representing Britons in Europe, who accused them of not correctly applying the rules of the Withdrawal Agreement.

But on Monday the Danish government announced that the initial deadline will now be extended until the end of 2023.

This extended deadline will apply to all British citizens who applied after the original deadline and whose applications were subsequently not processed.

Brits who had moved to Denmark before the end of 2020 but never submitted an application to extend their Danish residency after Brexit will also have until the end of this year to submit an application, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration said.

A major complication with the original application deadline was an error relating to information letters sent out by the authority that processes the applications, the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI).

The information letters, sent in 2020, were intended to inform all British nationals living in Denmark of the need to apply for their residence status in Denmark to be continued after Brexit. But an error at the agency resulted in most people who moved from the UK to Denmark in 2020 not receiving the information mails.

The Local has previously reported on individual Britons who faced having to leave homes, jobs and loved ones in Denmark over the issue.


“I am very pleased we have found this solution,” Minister for Immigration and Integration Kaare Dybvad Bek said in the statement.

“It has always been the government’s intention to make it easy and smooth for resident British nationals to stay in Denmark. There are some people who didn’t apply on time and we want to give them an extra chance,” he said.

Mads Fuglede, immigration spokesperson with coalition partner the Liberals (Venstre), said that “In light of Brexit, we decided in parliament that it should not harm British residents of Denmark that the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU. I am therefore also pleased we have found a solution for the Britons who did not apply on time”.

All British residents of Denmark applying within the new deadline are still required to be eligible for ongoing residence in Denmark under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, meaning they legally took up residence in Denmark under the EU’s free movement provisions prior to the UK’s exit from the EU. This does not represent any change to the rules under the earlier deadline.

British residents who must now submit applications by the new deadline should be aware of the distinction between an earlier application being rejected, with it not being processed.

In general, late applications under the old deadline were not processed, unless SIRI deemed there to be special circumstances justifying the late submission. In these cases, SIRI informed the applicant that their application could not be processed, citing the missed deadline as the reason for this.

Persons whose applications were processed but were rejected because they did not meet the criteria for ongoing residence under the Withdrawal Agreement will not be given the chance to reapply, the ministry said.

People who moved to Denmark after the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st, 2020 are still subject to general Danish immigration rules for third-country nationals.

The deadline extension will require a legal amendment which will be sent into the hearing phase of parliamentary procedure “as soon as possible”, the ministry said in the statement.