EU failed to scapegoat AstraZeneca in Article 16 fiasco, journalist argues

30 January 2021, 18:43

Brussels correspondent argues that AstraZeneca is being scapegoated

By Seán Hickey

This journalist argued that the European Commission blamed AstraZeneca to hide its reckless decision-making on Friday.

James Crisp is the Brussels correspondent for the Telegraph and he joined David Lammy to discuss the European Commission's haphazard few days where it nearly imposed a hard border on Ireland.

Mr Crisp told David that the "European Commission was under extreme pressure from EU member states to deliver," and after failing to effectively provide the bloc with vaccination, they quickly sought to shift blame.

"When things start to go wrong, the most concentrated effort is to bring AstraZeneca to its knees," he noted.

He said the move was made "in a bid to stop it having to carry the can," but they failed in doing so.

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"The European Commission basically carries the can for this. It wanted the credit, things started to go wrong, and it wanted a scapegoat and AstraZeneca was the scapegoat."

Following the controversy, Mr Crisp said that "it is not inconceivable" that the UK's 3.5 million vaccines ordered from Pfizer in Belgium could be blocked as a result.

"Why have they dragged us into this," David wondered.

"they basically don't believe AstraZeneca's excuse of production problems," Mr Crisp insisted.

He concluded by telling David that "the EU just wants to get these vaccines," and evidently will do whatever they can to do so.

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