United Kingdom bails out of EU COVID-19 vaccine arrangement

13 Juillet, 2020, 14:36 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Provided by Evening Standard The race to find a coronavirus vaccine is continuing at pace

The European Commission said on Friday that a possible decision by the United Kingdom not to join an EU scheme to secure potential COVID-19 vaccines up front would not affect talks the bloc is conducting with several drugmakers.

The EU's €2 billion scheme is set to purchase vaccines in advance and test them on behalf of its member states.

Negotiations with Brussels have been ongoing but Alok Sharma, the business secretary, is believed to have opted out of the opportunity, according to The Daily Telegraph.

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The Commission had no comment on whether the UK's possible decision could increase competition to acquire vaccines and thus push up prices.

The decision not to participate is expected to provoke a backlash among opposition MPs, who believe that ministers are reluctant to collaborate with the European Union on projects after Brexit.

There were also fears that there would be a cap on the number of doses each participating country would receive. We would have joined the EU scheme if they had allowed us also to continue with our own negotiations, but one of the conditions of the scheme was that we would have had to stop our own negotiations and only do them through the European Commission and we weren't prepared to do that.

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