PMQs: Boris Johnson rejects EU’s claim about vaccine exports
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The Economist’s Brexit editor has insisted that Britain’s jab rollout has become a great global advertisement for Boris Johnson’s Government. While Timesradio host Steven ‘Stig’ Abell added that the European Union could not have “sold Brexit better” with their own vaccine programme mismanagement. Brussels has come under increasing pressure from members states amid chronic supply problems and issues with vaccine uptake.
Mr Peet joined TimesRadio’s Asmah Mir and Stig Abell to discuss Brexit in relation to the EU’s vaccine programme.
Mr Abell commented: “It struck me the other day that almost the best advert this British government could have ever hope for Brexit, not necessarily even in the specifics,
“Just in the tone and approach, has been the vaccine rollout in the EU. The problems they’ve had.
“Somone of the astonishing things their politicians have then said, claims about exports being blocked and the like.”
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He added: “That for a PR point of view could not have sold Brexit better could it.”
Mr Peet replied: “Brexit had been quite controversial, not everyone agrees with it.
“Of course the British government’s record on dealing with Covid-19 has not been very good,
“But of vaccines, it has clearly done better than almost anywhere else.
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“The fact that Britain is doing much better than the European Union is I think a huge propaganda coup for the Johnson Government.
“I think it really doesn’t have anything to do with Brexit since most of what we did, we did while we were still governed by the rules of the EU.
“But in terms of presentation and PR undoubtedly a success for this government,
“And a bit of a problem for the European Union that wants to argue that Brexit was really a good idea.”
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An internal Brussels memo, seen by Express.co.uk, showed that European vaccine makers have shipped 34 million doses abroad since the beginning of February.
Most of the 9.1 million jabs sent to Britain were made at Pfizer’s Belgian production facility.
Between February 1 and March 3, Brussels sanctioned 257 vaccine exports and blocked one 250,000-strong shipment to Australia.
Spiteful EU officials complained that Britain hadn’t exported any doses to the bloc during that period, but ignored our firms playing a leading role in supplying ingredients to Pfizer’s production hub in Belgium.
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