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As the US of Trump and UK under Johnson went for MeFirst! Nationalist legal policy and bullhorn "diplomacy".

UK-EU Vaccine War: the Good, Bad and Ugly

If relations between Britain and the EU before Brexit was finalised were frosty and since then have been distant, then in recent weeks they have become downright ugly.

... on a political level, the vaccine wars tell us much more than this. They are a picture of a world in which global problems are not dealt with through cooperation, but by dog-eat-dog tribalism. It shows how, in the post-Brexit era, even technical disagreements turn into a biblical war between opposing camps.

Our understanding of the AstraZeneca contracts are shrouded in a certain amount of mystery. There are earlier agreements on research funding which haven't been made public.

This won No.10 an influential role in the development process, so that UK supply was guaranteed.

But there is also a darker element. "As you could imagine," AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said, "the UK government said the supply coming out of the UK supply chain would go for the UK first. Basically, that's how it is." It's not clear what this is a reference to - it could be a clause in an unpublished early agreement or a general description of the UK's pressure in the development process. But either way: the UK's view was clearly that the vaccine should stay in the UK.

The EU followed a different course. Vaccines produced in Europe, including AstraZeneca and Pfizer, are finding their way across the world. More than nine million have gone to the UK, 3.9 million to Canada, 3.1 million to Mexico and 2.7 million to Japan. And that was not just about EU inadequacy in the contract process. It was about the principle that a global problem required a global solution and should operate according to free market principles.

No matter what anyone says, there is no national solution to coronavirus. You can be so successful that you bring your domestic infections down to nothing. But as soon as someone goes overseas, picks up a variant and brings it back, it will spread like wildfire - and we'll be right back where we started. The only permanent solution is global.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Mar 29th, 2021 at 03:32:55 PM EST

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