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“This is not about EU v UK. This is a problem with AstraZeneca,” claimed an EU diplomat this morning.
He and I were discussing the latest thorny chapter in EU efforts to secure the Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs written into the bloc’s contract with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical company.
The debate is now focused on a production plant in the Netherlands, manufacturing AstraZeneca vaccines.
But the already-existing cross-Channel strains surrounding the vaccine are infamous by now.
The EU insists AstraZeneca made different and contradictory promises to Brussels and to the UK in their respective contracts, signed last year.
They say the EU-AstraZeneca contract promised:
- to ensure vaccine deliveries to the EU using production facilities in both the EU and UK
- an assurance from AstraZeneca that it had no other contracts which could get in the way of it fulfilling its commitments to the EU
“Yet at the same time, AstraZeneca appears to have promised the UK priority for the first X million doses – using production facilities in the EU, as well as the UK. This doesn’t add up. Though this isn’t the UK’s fault,” concluded the first EU diplomat I spoke to this morning.
AstraZeneca denies that it is failing to honour its contract with the EU. It says the contract commits the company to making the “best reasonable efforts” – which, it says, it is doing, faced with production challenges.
Read the full piece from Katya.
UK-EU vaccine supplies row shows no sign of easing – BBC News