‘This is not how modern countries behave!’ David Davis accuses EU of ‘stealing’ vaccines

Vaccine row: David Davis says EU has been ‘very emotional’

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David Davis, the former Brexit negotiator, ridiculed the EU for its “very poor” and “disgraceful” behaviour over vaccines. He said Italy’s move, backed by the European Commission, to block the export of 250,000 Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Australia, was “not the way proper modern countries behave”. Mr Davis said the EU’s behaviour in recent months shows why Britain’s escape from the reach of Brussels was vital.

Speaking to Mark Dolan on talkRADIO, Mr Davis said: “Well, frankly it is disgraceful. The whole EU approach to this has been very poor.

“Bear in mind, AstraZeneca are a company that invented this vaccine and have to produce it. It doesn’t just come out of the air. It takes work.

“The EU was late to approve their regulation to produce the vaccine, and they even threatened to breach the Northern Ireland agreement. An extraordinary behaviour.

“And then Macron and others came out to say this vaccine doesn’t work for the over-65s, so France, Belgium and Germany, among others, stopped using for that category.”

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He continued: “Unsurprisingly the public at large were mistrusting of that vaccine.

“Because they are behind, the EU have decided to steal supplies of the vaccine from people ahead of them in the queue – now it’s Australia.

“It’s not the way proper modern countries behave.”

TalkRADIO host Mark Dolan remarked that the EU was throwing a “temper tantrum” over the vaccines.

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Mr Davis agreed, saying: “Thankfully, we have escaped that regulatory bind. We are in the middle of a pandemic. Over a million people around the world have died. You can’t afford the luxury of Brussels bureaucracy under those circumstances.

“They have been very emotional about this and they are prone to lash out, which is silly.”

He pointed out countries in Europe have a surplus supply of AstraZeneca, with thousands of doses unused across the bloc due to mistrust.


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Mr Davis said: “Only in the EU would you have an export ban on something they have a surplus of! It’s ridiculous.”

France warned on Friday it may follow Italy in blocking Covid-19 vaccine shipments to non-EU countries as concerns about vaccine nationalism rise.

Brussels have been widely criticised for the slow pace of its vaccination programme, compared to the UK where 40 percent of the adult population has now been offered a first jab.

Only 5.5 percent of the EU population of 447 million has received a first vaccine dose, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

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