Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Irish_Tom, 1 Jan 2021.
Has brexit provided any benefits?
Any at all?
Vaccine purchasing and rollout?
Done and started while under all the EU rules AFAIK. Would we have done it the way we have otherwise? Probably not but who knows.
No. EU as a block decided to to central testing, they where slow on that. Then they decided what vaccines to go for as a block. Individually they could have done it on their own, but ze Germans I think thought biotech would bump them up the queue. Obviously they didn't.
Did EU countries have to sign up to the EU vaccine program? Or could we have opted out as part of the EU?
That bit I'm unsure of. I think yes they technically could, but as with all things in the bloc, they wanted to move in the same direction. Unfortunately this meant slower verifying vaccine data plus they as a block didn't seem to have and huge orders from the start. I believe is the same issues for respirators etc, they ran into issues purchasing as a block.
It's an odd argument, through, right?
The member states were each free to decide whether or not to do it that way.
Brexiteers have always argued that it's not the decisions themselves but the fact the decisions will now be made by "elected UK politicians we can vote out" .
If you introduce this new point then any bad decision of the UK govt can be said to be a bad effect of Brexit.
Keep in mind, the scientist/whoever was doing interviews around the start date was asked if Brexit had helped - because conservatives were shouting Brexit- and she said it was all done under EU rules.
As others have said, you can be small and nimble but lack the purchasing power of a big bloc, or have the purchasing power of a big bloc but be slower. The thing is outside the EU we more than likely won't have one of those options, inside we had both.
I think at the time the decision was made, a lot of countries hubristicly believed they were not in danger of a second wave, and so they didn't understand how important speed was. The unity approach makes a lot of sense not just because of the advantages of bulk ordering but also because continental Europe is so thoroughly linked together that the virus spreading in one country is a problem to all. Co-ordinated roll-out just makes sense under those circumstances. That it's been badly managed is clear in hindsight, but the programme makes sense in principle.
I agree, a unified approach would, IMO, be more effective for most things. However us being mostly an island, though I'd also include Ireland in this too, I think probably would be better approaching it more from an individual response, GB as a unit, RoI and NI as a unit, Gibraltar with EU as a unit, in some aspects. I also agree the European response seems a bit pants, but then most are - the countries that seem to do better are few and further away. I don't feel the UK strategy is really one to shout about, even if we are slightly ahead in terms of rollout.
In overall terms, the UK approach has been awful, in specific terms of the vaccine the UK is doing better than any other medium-sized country, and it's fair to take pride in that (although, of course, things may change). That said, I do find it a slightly odd approach: the UK pushed through rapid approval for the Pfizer vaccine, and then ignored their guidance on how it should be delivered, but if you're going to do that why stop where we did? The safety data was in place at least a month earlier, and the efficacy data used to justify the delayed second dose was there 3 months earlier before the stage 3 trials were complete. If you're not going to stick to the findings, why not go the whole hog and approve it back in October or November?
But is this a case of us doing well, or us doing less badly? As you say below
which I agree with, it doesn't feel like we're doing well. I've noticed that the news seems to reporting the number who have had 1 dose as the 'people vaccinated' which seems odd to me because the vaccine comes in two doses so they haven't been vaccinated, they're midway through vaccination or partially vaccinated.
I dunno, I think at the point we're doing better than all the comparable countries, the argument that we're doing less badly is a comparison to an unlikely fantasy version of what could have been done rather than a pragmatic assessment of how a country is doing.
Looks as though the border between Gibraltar and the EU/Spain is coming down and it will join the Schengen free travel zone. Will Brexiters view this as a victory or a sell out?
Vaccines for a start as pointed out a few times already.
Objectively we are doing rather well, the EU approach has been slow and bureaucratic, both the approval (which they did speed up under pressure) and more importantly the purchasing. There apparently weren't any significant advantages to purchasing as a block in terms of the price according to the commentary at the time when the UK made the decision not to take part in the EU scheme... given the UK already had deals in progress then it was a good decision to just carry on with them. Other EU nations had to scrap that process (aside from Germany putting in a cheeky side order they weren't really supposed to) and deligated it to some EU commissioner to handle.
We're slightly ahead now but I don't think you really appreciate fully what has happened here in terms of future supplies too, looking at the reporting of the leaked Scottish data we'd seem to have quite ample supply, EU countries (regardless of differing abilities to distribute - Denmark very good, France utterly inept) still have future supply issues over the next couple of months or so in addition to starting off slower.
I don't think it is odd, they've changed their approach... They've not just ignored the guidance on how it should be delivered, a good argument has been made for delaying the second dose and it has finally got enough acceptance for people to see the sense in it.
How do you know when the decision was made? Presumably back in October or November the plan was to follow the original second dose schedule, if the decision wasn't made back then then of course they'd not have done anything towards this plan then either.
And, as many times, it's been pointed out that nothing about the EU scheme required the UK to join and the UK, most likely, wouldn't have done anyway.
You don't know that... how many EU countries decided to not join, how many EU countries went with unilateral approval via their own regulators?
It's pretty clear that Brexit was a factor in the speedier purchasing (it was literally cited as one of the reasons for not joining the EU scheme at the time) and that purchasing itself is a good illustration of the EU being slow to act, apparently (if a German newspaper is to be believed) letting internal politics hamper the choice of how much to purchase (equal numbers of German/US vaccine vs French etc.. despite one being some way off approval), all that faff and delay comes at a cost and supposedly the benefits of purchasing as a big block weren't anything to shout about after all.
The UK's MHRA was operating under EU rules at the time.
You don't need to retread the problems of the EU scheme, we've been over it dozens of times. None-the-less, Brexit or no, the UK was offered the chance to take part and chose not to. Historically the UK has been reluctant to enter these kind of schemes regardless of Brexit and I see no reason to believe we'd have behaved differently were we still members. Ironically, had the UK not chosen not to enter I don't think there would be anything like the same criticism of the EU's roll-out. The UK on their doorstep doing it better is what is driving criticism.
Andy Wigmore sounds unprofessional and odious.
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