‘Insulting!’ Furious Macron ally erupts at claim that Brexit helped UK get vaccine first

Brexit: French MP labels UK vaccine claims 'insulting'

French MP Bruno Bonnell branded the claims that Brexit helped speed up the UK’s approval of the Covid vaccine “insulting”. Mr Bonnell, who is an MP for Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche party, told Kay Burley on Sky News that the blame put on the EU was “really upsetting”. This comes after some UK ministers suggested that Brexit had speeded the vaccine approval process up.

Gavin Williamson dismissed the Brexit explanation, suggesting instead that it was down to the UK having superior medical experts.

The Education Secretary sparked EU outrage yesterday when he claimed that the UK was getting a coronavirus vaccine first because it is a “much better country” than France, Belgium and the US.

On Wednesday the UK’s medical regulator was the first to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use.

Speaking to LBC radio on Thursday, Mr Williamson said: “I just reckon we’ve got the very best people in this country and we’ve obviously got the best medical regulator, much better than the French have, much better than the Belgians have, much better than the Americans have.” 

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He added: “That doesn’t surprise me at all, because we’re a much better country than every single one of them.”

Mr Bonnell rebuked these claims as “insulting to all the people who died around the world”.

He told Kay Burley: “I heard the Brexit claims, and I think it is insulting to all the people who died around the world, pretending it is a race.

“How do you expect this world to be if one country claims they know how to save their people when they let the other people die?

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“It’s insulting, and I’m really upset about these comments.

“There is no way we can pretend that it’s because of the EU.

“It’s because the UK performance in approving this vaccine was different. Hopefully at the end of the day, I hope we will eradicate this virus worldwide.”


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When Ms Burley brought up Mr Williamson’s remarks, the ally of President Macron said: “Same answer. It’s so insulting if we start to compare the quality of people around the world.

“The whole idea of the EU was to gather all these talents, to unite these scientists and to save our continent.

“If people prefer to play solo, I’d rather believe that team-playing is the answer to world issues.”

The French MP also warned that a no deal Brexit would lead to “damage on both sides”.

He said no deal “is not the right solution” for any European country, including the UK.

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