‘Incompetent’ EU humiliated as Richard Tice lets rip over Covid vaccine controls

EU are being ‘protectionist bullies’ over vaccine says Tice

Richard Tice said Brussels eurocrats have “shown their true colours” and have revealed themselves to be “protectionist bullies” over the coronavirus vaccine row. The Brexiteer took to the radio to slam the European Union’s ‘incompetence’ with dealing with supplier AstraZeneca. The chairman of the Reform UK party said the bloc was totally at fault for the slow rollout of vaccine doses to member states and argued that Brussels was now trying to “pass the buck” for their bungled approach onto the vaccine manufacturer.

Mr Tice told TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer: “It is crystal clear, 100 per cent clear, that this is totally the EU’s fault.

“They have been incompetent, they have been bureaucratic, they have utterly bungled this and they are trying to pass the buck and blame others.

“They were late to order their vaccines, they were late to approve, you know it is a bit rich of them to be criticising AstraZeneca when the EU still hasn’t approved the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“They were trying to get a cheaper price, they tried to bully the UK to join their programme, thank heavens our independent sovereign government has the courage to say no.”

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“I think the EU has shown its true colours actually it is a protectionist bullying trade bloc that is bureaucratic, incredibly inefficient,” he continued.

“It’s not surprising that many nations throughout the EU are utterly furious with the way the EU has mishandled this.”

Mr Tice’s intervention came after ITV political editor Robert Peston took to Twitter to explain why the difference between AstraZeneca’s relationship with the UK and the EU meant the bloc has fallen so far behind its plans to vaccinate 50 million people.

He pointed out the UK agreed to a deal with the pharmaceutical company three months before the EU did.

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As a result, AstraZeneca had “an extra three months to sort out manufacturing and supply problems relating to the UK contract (there were plenty of problems)”, said Peston.

The ITV journalist pointed out the UK Government reached an agreement with the company in May, allowing sufficient time to work on the supply chain.

But Brussels did not sign a contract with AstraZeneca until the end of August, despite several EU states reaching a preliminary agreement with the company in June.

The EU decided it wanted to adopt a single bloc-wide approach, which delayed talks a further two months.

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Mr Peston said: “AZ reached a preliminary agreement with Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy, a group known as the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance, based on the agreement with the UK.

“The announcement was 13 June. BUT the EU insisted that the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance could not formalise the deal.

Last week AstraZeneca said it would not meet its contractual delivery commitments to the EU because of unexplained “reduced yields” in its European supply chain.

Brussels has reacted furiously to the news, as the bloc is already behind its targets and facing an increasing number of cases of the deadly virus, owing to the emergence of new strains.

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