‘They hate Brexit!’ EU ‘trying to intimidate UK like mob boss’ to cover up OWN jab failure
Vaccine: EU must 'stick to their side of bargain' says Jenrick
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The European Commission President warned countries who had been more successful in rolling out jabs could see their supply of vaccines from the continent cut. Her remarks came after multiple EU countries suspended the use of the Oxford-developed AstraZeneca jab over concerns of blood clots.
A temporary ban on their use was introduced despite reassurances from the European Health Agency and the World Health Organisation that the clot were not caused by the vaccine.
Ministers in Britain have reacted with outrage at the behaviour from the EU.
One said: “It has got to the stage where this has become naked jingoism from the EU against Britain.”
Speaking to Politico, they added: “They hate Brexit, they hate that our vaccine rollout has gone so well, and it’s obvious to everyone that they’re trying to intimidate us like a mob boss due to their desperation over their own abject failure.”
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said he was “surprised and disappointed” by the threats made by Ms von der Leyen to cut off the UK’s access to jabs from the continent.
He said: “The Prime Minister had spoken earlier in the year to Ursula von der Leyen and she gave a very clear commitment, which was that the EU would not engage in this sort of activity, that contractual responsibilities would be honoured.
“And that’s exactly what we intend to do and I hope and expect the EU to stick to their side of the bargain.”
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab last night warned the EU “the world’s watching” as he demanded an explanation for the comments coming from Brussels.
“We were reliably informed that they weren’t aware of any plans to restrict lawfully contracted supply to the UK,” Mr Raab said.
“We, like our European friends, are keeping supply chains open. Keeping trade and vital supplies of medical equipment and vaccines is critically important.
“We have all been arguing for this and we expect those assurances and legally contracted supply to be respected.
“Frankly, I’m surprised we’re having this conversation. It is normally what the UK and EU team up with to reject when other countries with less democratic regimes than our own engage in that kind of brinkmanship.”
Senior backbench MP and Deputy Leader of the European Research Group David Jones told Express.co.uk: “I would be surprised if people like Angela Merkel approved of Ursula von der Leyen’s conduct – Emmanuel Macron might, but I don’t think Angela Merkel will.”
Describing her actions as “bizarre”, he said the Commission President must now resign to normalise ties between the UK and EU.
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“Frankly I think this lady needs to go,” he said.
“She’s mishandled the whole procurement.
“EU vaccine procurement has been a disaster, she’s completely mishandled her relations with AstraZeneca and now she’s trying to turn the UK into a scapegoat for her own failures.”
Ms von der Leyen had told reporters in Brussels yesterday afternoon she would consider all options to ensure everyone in the EU received a vaccine as fears grow on the continent of a third wave of the virus.
She said the Commission would reflect on whether exports to countries who have higher vaccination rates than us are still proportionate”.
“We want reliable deliveries of vaccines, we want increase in the contracts, we want to see reciprocity and proportionality in exports and we are ready to use whatever tool we need to deliver on that,” Ms von der Leyen said.
“This is about making sure that Europe gets its fair share.”
While the UK has given doses to 39.04 out of every 100 people according to the Our World In Data website, the EU has administered doses to just 11,81.
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