Brussels Vaccine Crisis Shows Europe Must Leave European Union, Says Farage

Royal Navy medics prepare syringes ahead of giving injections of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to members of the public at a vaccination centre set up at Bath racecourse in Bath, southwest England on January 27, 2021. - Over 30 new coronavirus vaccination centres were set to open around England this …
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Brexit chief Nigel Farage has said that the European Union’s handling of its vaccination programme shows that European nations are better off making their own decisions and should leave the bloc.

The EU, UK, and AstraZeneca have been embroiled in a dispute over the production of vaccines for the Chinese coronavirus, after the drugs company revealed yields for the European market would be lower than expected. The bloc accused AstraZeneca of sending doses intended for the EU to the UK, resulting in the European Commission ordering a raid of a vaccine production plant this week. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot denied the claims and revealed that it had a contract agreed with Brexit Britain three months before it had with Brussels, with reports suggesting blame for any delays in European production was down to excessive bureaucracy at the Commission.

Reform UK leader Nigel Farage remarked this week that not only was the UK right to vote to leave the EU in 2016, but to exit the European Medicines Agency, as well, because the UK was able to make its own decisions on healthcare for Britons, despite Remainers claiming that to leave the EMA would endanger Britons’ lives.

So far, the government has now ensured the vaccination at 13 per cent of the population and is on track to inoculate the most vulnerable and those over 70 by mid-February. The EU has so far managed just two per cent innoculation on average.

“…isn’t it fascinating to see how different the reality is? Brexit Britain was the first western nation to approve the Pfizer vaccine for use, with substantial orders placed some time ago… It goes to show how fleet of foot our nation can be now that it is free of the EU’s shackles,” Mr Farage wrote in The Telegraph on Wednesday.

Media reports claimed that some countries like the Netherlands had tried to make their own soft agreements with drugs companies in June, but the European Commission’s demand to handle all contracts on behalf of the EU27 resulted in the deal between the bloc and AstraZeneca only being signed in August, pushing drugs production back further.

One AstraZeneca source based in the EU told British journalist Robert Peston this week: “I understand Brexit better now.”

“Judging by Germany’s seething tabloid press, and the nightly riots in Dutch cities, EU citizens are not happy with their overlords,” Mr Farage said, referencing the German media calling the EU’s handling of the vaccination programme “the best advertisement for Brexit”.

Further, the European Commission has threatened to block the shipment of vaccines outside of the European Union, even if a drugs company has a contract with a third country like the United Kingdom. The EC’s Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, claimed that even doses made in the UK under a British government contract belong to the bloc.

Mr Farage said of the remarks that “by making a direct threat to the United Kingdom, this Commissioner has done more than any other to show the nasty, vindictive and nationalistic side of the EU. Everyone can now see its true colours.”

The Brexit leader said last month that the UK leaving spelt the beginning of the end of the bloc would be the first of many, and that in a decade, the European Union might not even exist.

In fact, the EU’s handling of a bloc-wide vaccination programme may precipitate Farage’s predicted rise in Eurosceptic thought on the continent.

“If this crisis has taught us anything, it is that the best decisions are taken by national governments acting in their national interest. It is for this reason that I say Europe must leave the European Union. All of us who believe that the best decisions are taken by national governments which are directly accountable to their electorates need to make this crystal clear. With lives at stake, is it not our duty to do so?” Mr Farage wrote.


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