Iain Dale appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to discuss the EU summit held on Thursday which debated the bloc’s vaccine programme. While the continent has threatened to halt vaccine exports to countries with high vaccination rates, Mr Dale ranted against the EU and its member-states which supported such a plan. There are fears a vaccine war between countries could erupt as the UK may threaten to prevent vaccine materials from being exported with Mr Dale stating that “actions have consequences.”
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Mr Dale discussed the ongoing vaccine row in Europe and the message it sends to the rest of the world.
He said: “[The EU] do have the power to [block vaccines] legally they could do it, but actions have consequences.
“It would send a terrible signal out as the EU is supposed to be all about free trade.
“What kind of signal does that send out if they started to try and ban vaccines?
“[If they banned vaccines] which would save British lives, what they’re essentially saying is we’re going to ban vaccines and that will kill more British people.”
Ursula von der Leyen urged AstraZeneca to “catch-up” and meet its contractual obligations to the continent as the bloc blames pharmaceutical companies for the slow rollout of doses.
However, millions of AstraZeneca vaccines sit unused in European storage despite threats to block further exports of the vaccine to other countries.
The AZ jab has suffered from opposition from European heads of state who doubt the effectiveness of the vaccine which has led to a distrust of the jab.
French President Emmanuel Macron – a vocal critic of the AZ jab when it was first rolled out – is now suggesting the EU “ends its naivety” and backed export controls on vaccines.
The neighbouring country was put into another lockdown on March 20 due to a spike in cases and hospitals being overrun with COVID-19 variants.
But French citizens have mocked its government for the confusing new rules which say chocolate and flower shops can remain open for “French morale”.
Dog walkers can also only go within a kilometre of their homes but people doing exercise can go up to 10km.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel also supported the export controls stating the EU exports to the world.
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However, MEPs have also been ridiculed for suggesting the European Union is supplying vaccines to countries across the world but has not received any in kind.
Channel 4 journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy slammed a Luxembourg MEP who made such a claim by pointing out it was down to private companies who supplied places like the UK – not the EU.
But the EU and UK are in talks to reduce any escalation of a vaccine war as a joint statement revealed both sides were looking for a “win-win” situation.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly considering sharing UK AstraZeneca vaccines developed in The Netherlands to the EU as a “peace offering”.