EU snub: COVID-19 vaccine scheme in MAJOR U-turn

The European Commission is set to be informed of the outcome today the report added. Ministers have cited concerns over Brussels limiting the number of doses available to the UK.

The scheme, dubbed “EU vaccine strategy”, which aims to reach advance deals with producers to secure tens of millions of doses to member countries.

Ministers had looked into the proposal because of the potential economies of scale.

However, Brussels said the UK would not be able to join the scheme’s “stressing committee” because of Brexit.

This meant Britain would not be able to voice its opinion in the scheme or deciding who should have access to the vaccine first.

Another concern cited was the potential delay in the introduction of a vaccine in the UK by six months.

Initially, the EU wanted that Britain withdrew its support for national vaccine development, which is being done at Oxford University and Imperial College.

This condition was later scrapped, but ministers decided to turn down the offer after officials said it could postpone the development of a vaccine in the UK by six months.

The UK was invited to join the EU strategy under the Brexit withdrawal agreement currently in place.

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The decision to turn down the proposal is likely to prompt allegations of anti-EU sentiment within government.

Sources said taking part in the scheme could have meant “costly delays” for the UK if it found itself “at the back of the queue” for any vaccine the programme provides.

The UK would also have been banned from engaging in talks with any vaccine developer in discussions with the EU.

One source said: “The EU’s terms were pretty extraordinary.



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