AstraZeneca: EU legal action is a 'misjudgement' says Redwood
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The founder of the Nexit Denktank think tank defended Boris Johnson’s Government’s decision to keep AstraZeneca vials for the UK population before agreeing on vaccine exports to the EU.
Mr van der Noort argued Brexit Britain “played smartly” in the fight against coronavirus and lamented Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte should have done the same with Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The Dutch eurosceptic, who hopes the Netherlands will soon join the UK outside the Brussels bloc, told Express.co.uk his country is always on the losing sides of the so-called solidarity principle flaunted by EU chiefs.
He said: “I think the media in the EU said that the UK should have given away some of the AstraZeneca vaccines to the continent, but I thought the UK was playing it very smartly.
“This is exactly how you should do it and if you’re independent of course you’re going to be striving for your own success.
“And of course you keep all the vaccines first and then if your population is okay then, of course, you’re going to think about others.
“What type of leader would you be if you gave your vaccines to others and kept your own population not vaccinated?
“That’s why I don’t understand why the Dutch Government, although we have this Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is from the Netherlands, didn’t confiscate at least 70 million vaccines for our own population and then ramp up the production facility to up to say 200 million vaccines and then save our own vaccines while investing in more production for the rest of the EU.
“This is how we should have done it. This idea of solidarity is you do things for others while others do the same for you.
“If it is always the case that you only give but you never get, then there is no solidarity. You cannot have one-sided solidarity, it should always be two-sided.
“And it’s always one-sided in the EU pretty much for the Netherlands.
“So if you add it all up why would you be so stupid to do so. No normal businessman or person would do it like that.”
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The UK and the EU locked horns for months over vaccine exports, prompting the bloc to accuse Britain of imposing a de facto ban on all jabs leaving the UK.
After drugs manufacturer AstraZeneca informed the bloc it was unable to provide as many doses of its vaccine as promised, the Commission lashed out.
Eurocrats demanded shipments of the jab earmarked for the UK be re-directed to member states and introduced emergency export licences that gave the European Commission the power to ban vaccines from leaving the EU.
As recently as last month European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was still threatening to half shipments to the UK.
She said she was “ready to use whatever tool we need” to ensure the EU had the vaccines it needed saying the bloc must get “its fair share”.
On the other hand, the Commission President bragged about producing and exporting millions of vaccines to other non-EU countries.
She tweeted: “Europe is producing vaccines for Europeans and the world.
“We have exported 155 million doses to 87 countries since December.
“We take pride in this and invite others to join us. We’ll only be safe when everyone is safe.”
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