The Brexiteer has said the European Commission is at fault for the supply shortage that has crippled Europe’s Covid vaccination programme. Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has been at the centre of a bitter contract dispute with Brussels amid EU failure to secure adequate doses of the vaccine. Mr Bridgen argued the row now means the EU is going to get fewer vaccines because no drug manufacturer will want to do business with them.
The Conservative MP told TalkRADIO: “All this attack on AstraZeneca actually means that the EU is going to get less vaccines.
“Because no one wants to sign a contract with them because they are classified as a difficult customer.
“They are not judged now as being a fair and honest trading partner.
“If they do get any vaccines they are going to have to pay over the top for them for the risk.
“Because there is an extra risk in dealing with the EU because they might sue you.
“And they are threatening to take over your factory and tell you who you can deal with.
“I mean it is all desperate stuff.”
He added: “It is a car crash quite honestly.”
Eurocrats have accused the Anglo-Swedish firm of failing to deliver on its contractual commitment while European factories to produce doses to fulfil meet targets for Britain.
The pharma giant had initially promised to supply up to 120 million doses of the Oxford-produced vaccine in the first three months of the year but ended up lowering this pledge to 30 million.
AstraZeneca chief Pascal Soriot then also cut the promised supply for the second quarter from the original 180 million to 70 million vaccines.
This sparked a bitter war of words with Brussels and possible side effects from the jab that last month saw more than a dozen member states temporarily suspend its use.
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The EU’s vaccination rate remains sluggish with just 13.4 percent of adults in the bloc having had at least one shot, according to Europe’s vaccine tracker.
This compares to the UK, which has vaccinated over 50 percent of British adults.
The US is also making strides, having vaccinated 38 percent of the adult population, according to Reuters calculations.
EU countries are scrambling to ramp up the pace of injections after the WHO criticised the bloc’s slow rollout.