Vaccine row: Bridgen warns of 'ramifications' for the EU
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European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has threatened to ban exports of vaccines to the UK in an explosive move. Andrew Bridgen warned that such a move would quickly backfire on Brussels by prompting businesses to flee from the bloc. The Tory MP told talkRADIO that any export ban that the EU imposes would have “major ramifications” on the entire EU economy.
He also warned that the EU was putting politics ahead of people, since a vaccine ban would not accelerate European vaccination but slow down everyone else.
TalkRADIO host Patrick Christys said: “If the EU does decide to nick our vaccine, it would break international law.
“If Britain has a legal contract with a company and then a body of nations like the EU breaks that contract, that is therefore breaking international law.
“But, what can we actually do about it?”
JUST IN: Lisa Nandy warns EU NOT to play games with vaccine export bans
Mr Bridgen responded: “It has major ramifications for people willing to invest in businesses in those countries.
“If they put that embargo on vaccines being exported from the EU, well, a lot of the components for the Pfizer jab are manufactured here in the UK and then sent to Belgium for completion.
“So once you start closing off the transfer of components for vaccines, the whole lot fall over. It’s almost as if ‘we don’t mind how slowly we vaccinate in the EU as long as no-one else is doing better’. It’s an appalling state.”
He later joked: “The EU caveated saying it will only apply to countries doing better than the EU on vaccination rates, well that would be most of them wouldn’t it?”
Vaccine row: Nandy warns EU ‘consequences will be severe’
He also tweeted: “Vaccines and their components are cross-border and an EU ban would reduce vaccine availability and production for everyone.
“The problem is the EU don’t care how slow the vaccines are produced and rolled out as long as no other country is vaccinating faster than them. Lowest common denominator. EU putting politics before people again.”
The threat of a vaccine ban appears to have united both major parties with Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy today ripping into the EU during her interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr this morning.
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The MP and former Remainer took aim at the Ursula von der Leyen’s threat to block exports of vaccines into the UK.
She branded Ms von Der Leyen’s comments “deeply, deeply unhelpful” and warned of “very, very severe consequences for the EU.”
However, on the BBC, EU commissioner for financial services Mairead McGuinness repeated Brussels’ threat to block export of vaccines to the UK.
She told Mr Marr: “Everything is on the table but there is no decision.”
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