Since the vaccine news came out on Wednesday morning, Remainers have spent their time arguing that Brexit point-scoring shouldn’t politicise the good vaccine news; as the Guardian published on Wednesday, the “UK’s triumph at approving Covid vaccine must not become a chest-thumping exercise”:
“The health secretary saw this as a triumph for Britannia. Matt Hancock even tried to spin it as a triumph for Brexit… But political posturing will not help the huge effort ahead to get the vaccine taken up by the elderly and vulnerable most at risk from Covid.”
The paper’s aversion to political posturing over the vaccine is clearly newly-found however, given that back March the Observer’s political editor Toby Helm gleefully told readers:
“Brexit means coronavirus vaccine will be slower to reach the UK – and it will cost more here because of the UK pulling out of the European Medicines Agency on 30 December”
Yes, that’s the same EMA that is yet to approve a vaccine, holding back immunisation for EU citizens. Unsurprisingly, Toby has remained quiet on social media vaccine analysis this week…
The Guardian is far from the only outlet to have pronounced Brexit doom on Britain’s hopes of a vaccine. In July the Independent’s Rob Merrick told readers Boris Johnson had put “Brexit before health by rejecting an invitation to join an EU scheme to procure a coronavirus vaccine”, citing Layla Moran who said the decision was putting “Brexit over vaccines”. According to sources at the time, the EU made scrapping the Oxford vaccine trials a pre-condition of UK participation in their vaccine programme. Now we have more vaccine than the EU, faster than the EU. Will Remainers ever learn to stop predicting gloom and disaster?