EU blasted over claims Britain ‘outright’ banned jab exports – ‘Imagined community’

Macron ‘made a mistake’ on AstraZeneca vaccine says Genetet

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Business journalist Allister Heath denounced the European Union’s “refusal” to see Britain’s victory in the vaccine race. Writing in the Telegraph, he likened Mr Michel’s ban claims to “imagined community,” a concept developed by political scientist Benedict Anderson.

The journalist wrote: “The EU is a perfect example of what Benedict Anderson described as an imagined community.

“Its foundational myths are that ever-closer union is what ensures peace, prosperity and the security of its citizens.

“National self-government, by contrast, must lead to chaos, poverty and disease.

“Like all powerful ideological claims, it cannot stand to be contradicted by reality: the fact that breakaway Britain has triumphed in the vaccine race is an intolerable affront, a scientific impossibility even.

“The result is a classic case of cognitive dissonance, a refusal to face facts, and an attempt at finding refuge in the EU’s comfort zone by claiming that Britain cheated, that we lied, as we have supposedly done throughout history.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hit out at the EU over Mr Michel’s remarks.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab summoned an EU diplomat over the claim.

Tory backbencher Andrew Bridgen accused Brussels of attempting to smear Britain to cover-up its own vaccine failure.

But German MEP Dr Peter Liese suggested he would not rule out “complete export ban” on jabs against the UK.

Speaking to Euronews Europe correspondent Shona Murray, Dr Liese claimed the AstraZeneca jab would not have come about if it were not for EU and German funds to BioNTech research over the years.

He said: “The argument of the UK Government is that they supported the development of the vaccine at the University of Oxford.

“That may be true, but I cannot imagine that the people in Oxford have not been benefiting from European money.

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“Oxford was one of the biggest recipients of European research money and, more importantly, the German Government and the European Union financed the development of the BioTech vaccine and the development of the RNA technology in BioTech for many, many years.

“So the vaccine wouldn’t exist without European and German support.

“Would we apply the same policy as the UK? We could keep it even for Germany. I don’t advise my government to apply the same policies as the UK but at least Europe needs to be very outspoken now.

“And I wouldn’t exclude a complete export ban.”

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