BRITAIN will reportedly tell the EU that it “must recognise” taxpayer funding for the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine amid a standoff over jabs.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has threatened to halt deliveries of the vaccine to the UK until AstraZeneca “catches up” on shipments to Europe.
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EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has threatened to halt deliveries of the vaccine to the UKCredit: Getty
Britain will argue that the EU has benefitted from £84million in taxpayer funding for the AstraZeneca vaccineCredit: AFP
Talks to stop the stand-off will resume on Monday, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Ms von der Leyen had demanded “reciprocity” after factories in the EU had sent 21 million Covid jabs to the UK but had received none themselves.
The ongoing negotiations will be focused on what “reciprocity” would look like.
Britain will argue that the EU has benefitted from £84million in taxpayer funding for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The jab was developed by top scientists at the University of Oxford.
According to the UK Government’s spending review, British taxpayers have spent more than £6billion on Covid vaccines.
European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic told the Telegraph that investment by the UK into vaccine development would be considered during the negotiations.
Another diplomat reportedly said the British demand for its investment to be recognised “seemed fair”, but that the EU would also want German spending on the Pfizer jab to be considered as well.
Meanwhile, bungling EU chiefs have failed to clinch a deal for a new Covid-19 vaccine said to be 96 per cent effective.
Britain signed a contract seven months ago to guarantee 60 million doses of the Novavax jab.
The company also has agreements to supply the US, Canada and Australia. But, with approval expected within weeks, talks between the US-owned producer and the EU have stalled.
Novavax is said to be wary about rushing into a deal with bullying Eurocrats, who have fallen out with fellow pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca.
A source said: “You can’t blame the company for being cautious after seeing the punishment beating given to AstraZeneca over the past few weeks. They are clearly unwilling to line themselves up as the new scapegoats for the EU’s failings.
“There are many more countries who want to do business.”
Millions of AstraZeneca vaccines are sitting unused across Europe, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.