EU are ‘commandeering UK over vaccine supply’ says Malone
Last week, a furious row erupted in Brussels following a delay of the AstraZeneca vaccine – which was developed with Oxford University – to the European Union. The EU argued the pharmaceutical company breached its contractual obligations.
The bloc – who only approved the vaccine last week – sought to halt vaccines entering the UK through “the backdoor” with checks at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby urged the UK and the EU to “work together” to resolve the export of the vaccines, saying solidarity is “at the heart” of Christianity.
However, Mr Redwood, a devout Brexiteer and Christian, disagreed with Mr Welby’s claims in relation to the bloc and accused Germany of not thinking “solidarity requires them to send large sums” to poorer parts of the Union.
Mr Redwood wrote on his personal blog: “The wealthier EU countries led by Germany do not think solidarity requires them to send large sums on a charitable basis to the poorer parts of the Union.
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“Nor does the concept extend to meeting the internationally agreed target of 0.7 percent for overseas aid.
“The offer of mutual support can also be selective, as Greece and Cyprus discovered in the Euro crisis.
“It is a frequent demand on recalcitrant member states when the EU is seeking to get a collective agreement, a reason given to make compromises.”
He went on to say how the bloc has “struggled” over issues of migration and borders.
Mr Redwood continued: “Solidarity in the sense of helping the poor is also hedged and often queried by member states.
“The EU has struggled over the issue of migration and borders in trying to decide how much of an obligation it owes to the poor of the non-EU world.
“It has ended accepting miles of border fence and efforts to deter illegal settlers.
“Currently the EU wishes to buy up supplies of vaccine for its own citizens, not to help distribute vaccine to the low income countries of the world as the WHO would like.
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“I am not sure this squares with the Archbishop’s view of Christian values.”
Yesterday, AstraZeneca vowed to delivery nine million more doses of their vaccine to the EU following the ongoing attacked by Brussels.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen held a meeting with the CEOs of pharmaceutical companies.
During the meeting, she said: “The discussions [with CEOs] explored requirements for very rapid development manufacturing and regulatory approval of vaccines for COVID-19 variants in the EU.
“It was a very constructive meeting, with numerous practical suggestions.”
She outlined how the drugmaker will now send a total of 40 million doses in the first quarter of the year and start deliveries one week earlier than scheduled.
Last week, Pascal Soriot, the CEO of AstraZeneca, outlined why the EU has been experiencing delays due to the UK signing an agreement three months before the EU did.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved by the UK’s regulator back in December and has been rolled out across the NHS as well as other countries such as India and Brazil.
Across the EU, three vaccines have been approved by its regulatory body; AstraZeneca, BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna.
However, all three companies have signalled they will not be able to fully meet delivery schedules.
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