The United Kingdom said on Friday that it would not participate in the European Union program, which it left at the end of January, to obtain potentially effective vaccines against the new coronavirus.
The European Commission “has confirmed that it is not possible for the United Kingdom to pursue negotiations with potential vaccine suppliers at the same time,” said British Ambassador to the EU Tim Barrow in a letter. addressed to the European executive.
Besides having to give up its own efforts to procure vaccines, London would also have had no say in the conditions of acquisition of the vaccines, in particular “the price, the volume and the delivery schedule”, a he added.
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock also said on Times Radio on Friday that the UK is “ahead” of the EU in terms of negotiations with vaccine producers.
The country supports with millions of pounds the efforts of British researchers in the global quest for a vaccine, especially those of Imperial College London and the University of Oxford – in association with the British pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca .
In June, the EU released its “vaccine strategy” to help develop future vaccines against Covid-19 disease and reserve them in advance with producers.
The United Kingdom, the most mourning country in Europe with 44,650 dead according to a report published on Friday, left the EU at the end of January, but continues to apply European rules during a transition period running until December 31, 2020.