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European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) as millions of Britons could lose their rights to urgent medical treatment while travelling in the EU after Brexit. Photo: Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images

In the event that the United Kingdom and the European Union fail to reach a deal on Brexit, poor government planning could result in hospitals facing shortages in medicine and medical devices, the trade association for the National Health Service warned in an email obtained by The Times.

The big picture: The increasingly likely scenario that the U.K. and the EU won't come to an agreement on their customs and trade relationship — among the last, but most contentious issues left to hammer out — could threaten “the entire supply chain of pharmaceuticals." According to The Guardian, NHS provides more than 1 billion items through community pharmacies each year, many of which come from outside the country. The U.K. has some domestic manufacturing capacity, but not nearly enough to meet the population's full medical demands.

Go deeper

14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.