Brexit: Jeremy Vine says EU may have given UK ‘best argument’
The shocking claims were made by a health expert, academic and lawyer at the start of March 2020, before the UK entered its first national lockdown. They warned Brexit risked leaving Britain out in the cold as it walks away from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which they stated would harm the UK’s coronavirus vaccines efforts. But the claims couldn’t be further from the truth, as the UK’s vaccine scheme far exceeds those of any EU state.
Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and legal academics Anniek de Ruijter of Amsterdam Law School and Mark Flear of Queens University, Belfast joined together to pen an article warning the UK risks having its vaccine efforts hampered by Brexit.
They wrote: “After the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, the UK will be outside the EMA’s rapid authorisation mechanism for pandemic vaccines and medicines for treatment.
“Consequently, the UK could have to wait longer for these than EU member states.
“To make matters worse, the UK has already withdrawn from the EU’s emergency bulk buying mechanism for vaccines and medicines, which allows EU member states to increase their market power and speed up access to vaccines and medicines during a crisis.
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“Its exclusion could mean the UK will have to pay more to acquire these pandemic countermeasures.”
But the Brexit fearmongering was inaccurate, as the UK became the first country to approve the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in December.
Britain then became the first country in the world to start using the Pfizer vaccine just several days later.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was also approved for emergency supply in the UK just before the New Year, followed by the US’ Moderna vaccine in early January.
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Since then, the UK has vaccinated over 7 million people, the third largest total in the world.
The whole of the European Union on the other hand has vaccinated just over 9 million, despite accounting for 27 countries, according to figures by Our World in Data.
The EU country that has vaccinated the most people is Germany, having given doses to 1.78 million people – almost four times fewer than the UK’s total.
Italy comes in second with 1.43 million, followed by Spain and France, on 1.24 million and 1.09 million respectively.
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Former Brexit Party MEP Daniel Hannan shared the vaccine statistics to his Twitter account, where he also shared the claims made by the academics last March.
He uploaded the two pictures using the ‘How it started vs how it’s going’ meme that has become popular on social media.
People praised the Brexiteer for publicising the past claims, with leading Frexit campaigner Charles-Henri Gallois sharing the post with his Twitter followers.
He said: “When anti-Brexit propaganda Flag of United Kingdom meet reality! #TakeBackControl.”
Several other social media users also stated the previous warnings about the covid vaccine is further evidence of Brexit scaremongering.
Political commentator Andre Walker said: “Amazing how dishonest the pro-Europeans are.”
Another user wrote: “Another load of scaremongering Brexit crap.”
A third said: “Classic Remainer media spin proving yet again that they were wrong. Shocker.”
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