BBC details how EU AstraZeneca vaccine row unfolded
Ros Atkins shone a light on the paradoxical EU positions over the last few weeks including their proposals for a Northern Irish border despite years of campaigning against such measures. The BBC presenter highlighted how the bloc’s failures to secure a working vaccination contract reflects badly on them since they could not communicate what they wanted. The video, which has gone viral, was met with praise as they enjoyed the free-speaking presenter and his entertaining criticisms.
Speaking on BBC’s Outside Source, Mr Atkins presented a five-minute dissection of the EU which is coming under pressure to deliver on vaccinations.
He explained the institution views itself as a “champion of multilateralism” and that it supports being stronger together.
While Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen has said the EU is working together to tackle the virus, Mr Atkins questioned whether that was the best approach for member states.
Less than 3 percent in the EU have received at least one jab and in the UK it is around 14 percent.
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The analysis was met with support from BBC viewers who took to social media to commend the frank commentary on the EU’s latest antics, with one user suggesting the package was the “best thing you’ve done since Andrew Neil left.”
One user wrote: “How amazing would it have been if the BBC and other broadcasters had given the same level of criticism to the EU throughout the Brexit negotiations. Not to criticise one side over the other, but to really question both sides.”
Another added: “This is excellent. I think what many find frustrating is that the EU, seemingly unable to admit that mistakes have been made with procurement & rollout, are taking the stance that conflict may gain them something that collaboration will not. A huge mistake, surely.
One BBC viewer added: “Very good summation of the current situation here by Ros Atkins. The BBC World is doing what I wish BBC News could.
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“Mr Atkins also slammed the Commission for their failures to secure vaccine contracts in time.”
And another said: “Brace yourself. This is truly remarkable. The BBC says something negative about the EU. I’ve not seen anything remotely close to this from the BBC before.
“I would also like to be the first to wish Ros Atkins well in his new career.”
During the entire Brexit process, the EU said there should not be a border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
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The journalist showed videos of former EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier stating Europe wanted to see peace maintained in Ireland
But Mr Atkins explained that it was then odd for the EU to implement Article 16 to block vaccines travelling into the UK via Northern Ireland despite appearing to campaign against a border for four years.
The move would also break parts of the Good Friday Agreement which prevents a hard border.
Politico commented that the EU did the impossible when it triggered Article 16 by uniting Brexiteers, Remainers, the DUP and Sinn Fein against them.
The EU has since backtracked on triggering Article 16 of the protocols and the bloc struck an agreement with AstraZeneca to receive additional doses.
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