President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has threatened to bock exports of Covid vaccine to countries, including the United Kingdom, which have a higher rates of vaccination than the EU itself.
Also, quite incredibly, the EU has suggested that it may seize intellectual property rights to the vaccines.
Von der Leyen said:
"We will reflect on whether exports to countries that have higher vaccination rates than us are proportionate"
When specifically asked whether the EU would seize production and intellectual property rights Von der Leyen responded:
"All options are on the table. We are in the crisis of the century and I'm not ruling out anything."
This threat will anger many who will see it as a smokescreen to cover the European Union's own tardy response to Covid. The EU has suffered a very slow vaccine rollout, caused by its own failure to approve and order vaccines in a timely manner.
This latest threat comes after many EU leaders, led by President Macron of France, have raised concerns about the UK's Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine, despite the World Health Organisation and the medicines of the EU's Member States all approving the vaccine for use. The resulting public concern in EU Member States regarding the vaccine is causing a lower uptake and, as a result, lives will be lost.
Even many ardent UK Europhiles who campaigned to remain in the EU are now questioning the block's approach. Tony Robinson, TV presenter, formerly Labour Party NEC member and Remain campaigner tweeted: