Carole Malone erupts in furious Vine rant at ‘bullying’ EU over plot to ‘seize’ UK jabs02/01/2021
EU are ‘commandeering UK over vaccine supply’ says Malone
Carole Malone hit out at EU “bullies” in a furious rant during the Jeremy Vine Show. Ms Malone accused Brussels of threatening to “punish and destroy” Britain during last week’s row over Covid vaccine supplies. Last week, the EU was condemned over its short-lived threat to invoke a Brexit clause that would put checks on the Northern Ireland border to prevent vaccines produced in the EU from reaching the UK.
The EU was furious that Britain was getting its UK-made contracted supplies from AstraZeneca while Brussels suffered a shortfall.
However, Brussels quickly withdrew the order after condemnation from Ireland and the UK.
Ms Malone has accused the EU of “bullying and intimidating the UK” over the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
She insisted that Britain “should not give in” to Brussels and hold onto its vaccines “until everyone who lives in this country is offered the vaccine”.
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The Daily Express columnist told Jeremy Vine: “Our vaccine programme has been so magnificently successful and this Government over-ordered. All credit to them on that. They have made lots of mistakes during this pandemic – not on that.
“Because it’s been so successful, there might be the case at some point to give vaccines to other countries but not until every British person who wants it or needs it has it.
“Not just the vulnerable, everyone who lives in this country is entitled to get the vaccine.
“When we give it to different countries, I don’t want to see the EU commandeer it like they tried to do last week. We should decide who we give it to.
“I think the people we should give it to first are the poorest countries, our Commonwealth friends, even to our friends in Ireland because all of us are connected to Ireland.”
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She then railed against the “EU’s behaviour over the past five days over these vaccines”.
Ms Malone said: “Their incompetent stopped them ordering vaccines for EU citizens.
“But what they’ve said to our Government is because we were responsible and ordered enough, ‘Hand over our vaccines or we are going punish you’.
“They have said ‘we are going to destroy you, we are going to take them, we will invoke Article 122 of the Lisbon Treaty, we will create a border in Northern Ireland’.
“Their behaviour has been bullying and intimidation and I don’t want to see this Government giving into that kind of bully.”
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Article 122 of the Lisbon Treaty allows the EU to take emergency steps “if severe difficulties arise in the supply of certain products”, or “if a Member State is in difficulties or is seriously threatened with severe difficulties caused by natural disasters or exceptional occurrences beyond its control”.
The threat to invoke the emergency powers of Article 122 would allow Brussels to seize control of AstraZeneca’s production process – a move that was raised last week.
On Sunday, France and Germany threatened legal action against AstraZeneca as they warned that any firm which favoured UK orders for the jabs could be penalised.
Clement Beaune, the French Europe minister, said: “If there is a problem and that other countries have been favoured – for example the UK over us – then we will defend our interests.”
Peter Altmaier, the German economy minister and a close ally of Angela Merkel, echoed this, as he warned vaccine producers that “it is in no way acceptable that another country is retrospectively favoured over the EU”.
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