Brexit LIVE: UK orders EU to ‘stop bickering’ – end vaccine row NOW

Brexit: Britain to see ‘major boost to trade’ says John Longworth

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The claim was made by Kate Bingham who headed the highly successful UK Vaccine Taskforce tasked with obtaining jabs for Britain. The EU is demanding AstraZeneca increase vaccine supply to the bloc whilst some leaders, such as France’s Emmanuel Macron, have raised false doubts about its effectiveness. Speaking to the Financial Times Ms Bingham said: “The bickering just layers uncertainty in people’s minds, so it needs to stop.”

Meanwhile Brussels has been accused of “shooting itself in the foot” in a foolish attempt to punish the UK for Brexit. 

The claim was made by the Facts4EU think tank which noted EU exports to Britain fell faster than to the end of the world compared with last year. 

Facts4EU pored over figures supplied by the bloc’s statistics department, Eurostat, and came up with some conclusions which will make uncomfortable reading for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

With restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-10 having impacted exports the world over last year, Facts4EU’s investigation nevertheless uncovered a striking difference when comparing those from EU countries to the rest of the world, and to the UK.

Between January 2020 and January 2021, exports to the rest of the world fell by 10.8 percent.

However, during the same time frame, exports to the UK fell by 27.4 percent.

Nor was this adequately explained by pre-Brexit stockpiling in December 2020, Facts4EU’s analysis suggests, given these were just 14.2 percent higher than normal according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – not enough to balance the 27.4 percent figure.

Facts4EU’s editor-in-chief Leigh Evans said: “Is the EU shooting itself in the foot in order to punish Brexit Britain?

“Without the UK’s exports to the EU, the EU’s already lamentable vaccination performance would sink yet further.

“In no way can the EU claim any high ground in this mess. They have been exposed, red in tooth in claw for the whole world to see.

“Does Brussels really want to see UK companies and consumers buy more from ‘anyone but the EU’?”

Considering the reasons behind the dramatic fall in the EU’s exports to the UK compared to the rest of the world, Mr Evans suggested there had been “a significant shift in British public opinion when it comes to buying products made in the EU.”

He explained: “Our sense is that the public still feel warmly towards the citizens in the countries involved in the sclerotic EU enterprise.

“’Love Europe, hate the EU’ is still a common refrain. The problem lies with the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, and certain nationalist leaders of EU countries such as Monsieur Macron of France.

“It would be a great shame if the citizens of the EU27 countries suffer job losses and hardship as a result of these politicians and unelected and extremist ideologues, but if this appalling behaviour continues any longer we suspect that Brexit Britain will turn even faster to its friends around the world for its products, in preference to those from the EU.”


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5.29pm update: Andrew Neil eviscerates Macron over claims he is ‘seething Brexit didn’t collapse UK’

Andrew Neil has torn into Emmanuel Macron and backed up claims the under-fire French President is “seething at Britain not collapsing after Brexit”.

4.20pm update: EU urged to stop ‘bickering’ with Covid vaccine makers

European politicians have been urged to stop “bickering” with coronavirus vaccine suppliers, particularly AstraZeneca which is making the Oxford University jab.

The call was made by Kate Bingham who headed Britain’s successful Vaccine Taskforce.

EU leaders have attacked AstraZeneca after it supplied less jabs than hoped whilst French president Emmanuel Macron raised false doubts about its effectiveness.

Addressing the Financial Times Ms Bingham commented: “It is very worrying for people, especially on the continent, who are vulnerable.

“You need to be sure that the vaccines are safe and that if you take the vaccine, you will get protected.

“The bickering just layers uncertainty in people’s minds, so it needs to stop.

“We need to get those people who are vulnerable vaccinated.”

3.05pm update: Thanks, Ursula! UK’s booming vaccine programme has EU chief VDL to thank, says expert

Ursula von der Leyen’s incompetent heading up of the EU’s calamitous vaccination programme inadvertently kickstarted the UK’s booming vaccine industry, an expert has claimed.

Prominent financial columnist Matthew Lynn said, prior to the Covid pandemic, Britain was never a major vaccine supplier.

That all changed last month when Brussels threatened to block exports of Oxford’s AstraZeneca vaccine in a jealous rage over Brexit Britain’s rollout success.

James Bickerton takes over live reporting from Ciaran McGrath

2.08pm update: BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg awkwardly corrected on-air after she discussed ‘celebrating’ Brexit

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg was awkwardly cut off on-air during her introduction on a new episode of Brexitcast as she discussed “celebrating” the three-month anniversary of Brexit.

Laura Kuenssberg was awkwardly interrupted on-air during her introduction on the BBC’s three-month Brexit anniversary edition of its podcast Brexitcast.

The BBC political editor reflected on the Brexit anniversary and remarked the BBC team were back together “to celebrate” Britain’s departure.

However, fellow BBC journalist and chief BBC News political correspondent Adam Fleming interjected and said they were there to “mark” the anniversary.

Laura Kuenssberg discusses Brexit anniversary

1.31pm update: ‘Cautious’ Joe Biden to back Brexit Britain instead of ‘bully EU’ despite NI row

Joe Biden is more likely to side with Britain rather than the EU in the ongoing Northern Ireland row, according to an expert.

Director-General of the think tank Centre for Brexit Policy John Longworth argued US President Joe Biden has been very cautious in his statements regarding the row between the UK and EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Longworth insisted President Biden will see that the EU is the one breaking the protocol, not the UK.

He noted President Biden was well aware of the inner workings of the Good Friday Agreement and how it works.

1.15pm update: Thatcher’s aide warned bloc wanted ‘painful’ Brexit as Croatia quit fears rose

The European Union wanted a “painful” Brexit to ward off other nations from leaving the bloc, Margaret Thatcher’s aide claimed, as fears Croatia could follow the UK emerged.

Brussels has been engulfed in a raging civil war, as member states turn on the European Commission – and its President Ursula von der Leyen – for the bloc’s poor handling of the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Figures show that the EU has performed miserably when compared to nations such as the UK, with the bloc’s apparent slow uptake on approving jabs, and issues with production, plaguing their vaccine plans.

The UK has administered around 44.7 vaccines per 100 citizens, while the EU lags behind on 12.9 jabs for every 100, recent data showed.

12.42pm update: POLL – After expert hits out at ‘economic burden’, does UK need Scotland?

With the Holyrood elections barely a month away, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is stepping up her independence push – but with one expert today suggesting Scotland is actually a burden on British taxpayers, today Express.co.uk are being asked: would the UK be better off without it?

SNP leader Mrs Sturgeon is attempting to frame the May 6 poll as a de facto referendum in itself, and if her party achieves an overall majority, will claim she has a mandate to force UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to call a second referendum – or a so-called Indyref2.

However, speaking to Express.co.uk, John Longworth, a former Brexit Party MEP and the director-General of the Centre for Brexit Policy think tank said it might not matter much if Scotland did go it alone.

He explained: “I don’t think England and Wales would be at all impacted by Scottish independence to any great degree, in relation to its economic performance.”

12.16pm update: Take Brexit by the horns! Boris slammed for not taking ‘advantage of freedoms out of EU’

Boris Johnson has been criticised by a leading Brexiteer for not taking full “advantage of our new freedoms out of the EU”.

Vocal Eurosceptic John Redwood this morning demanded to know why, months after the transition period ended, Mr Johnson hasn’t turbo-charged Brexit Britain.

The Conservative MP, who has long called for the UK to free itself from Brussels’ shackles, spoke as the country’s vastly successful vaccine rollout outshines the EU’s bumbling effort.

He tweeted: “Challenge to Ministers – what have you done to take advantage of our new freedoms out of the EU?

“When do we get the tax cuts, the rebuilding of the UK’s fishing and farming Industries, the intelligent use of UK public sector buying and policy to create more jobs in the UK?”

12.12pm update: Andrew Neil silences ‘numpty’ Remainer over UK flag criticism with brutal Twitter attack

Andrew Neil has silenced a Remainer with a ferocious Twitter put-down during a row over placing the Union flag.

The veteran journalist attacked the europhile after they claimed placing flags on items was “unpleasant and quite intimidating” – despite flaunting the EU flag in their own Twitter profile.

The former This Week host’s brutal shutdown came after ‘North Hampshire For Europe FBPE’ account tweeted a picture of Mornflakes Mighty Oats which prominently display the Union flag.

The account’s profile picture is a pro-EU graphic, while the username also features an EU flag.

9.35am update: Starmer crisis as 60 percent of party members want to rejoin EU – poll

Nearly two-thirds of Labour members want Sir Keir Starmer to overturn democracy and fight to rejoin the EU, according to a poll.

Remainers reacted with glee to the news this morning, with many voicing their hopes the result could help overturn 2016’s historic referendum result.

It came after a YouGov survey found 59 percent of Labour members polled thought they should campaign on the issue compared to just 15 percent who said they should not.

This comes despite Sir Keir’s vocal desire to move his party on from the Brexit debate as it desperately seeks to reestablish its former northern strongholds.

9.18am update: They FINALLY get it! EU banking chief ‘seeing sense’ over Brexit’s financial revolution

EU chiefs are finally “seeing sense” for London’s objective to achieve a post-Brexit financial revolution with an equivalence agreement with the EU.

José Manuel Campa, chair of the European Banking Authority, admitted the UK was a “very important partner” in the financial world.

It comes as a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) arrangements for a new post-Brexit financial services agreement stopped short of implementing any new access arrangements allowing banking, insurance and legal advice to be exported to the bloc.

Instead, it is expected a new forum will be developed where both sides will meet twice a year to discuss policy.

8.42am update: ‘EU is a ticking time bomb!’ Britons mock EU after expert warns of economic obliteration

Apocalyptic predictions about the woeful state of the EU’s economy has provoked a stinging reaction from Britons.

Hundreds flocked to comment on Express.co.uk after an economic expert revealed the bloc’s banking system was teetering on the brink of collapse.

Director-General of the think tank Centre for Brexit Policy John Longworth argued this was set to cause serious economic decline throughout the bloc.

Fortunately for the UK, which is now totally free of Brussels’ suffocating bureaucracy, it can forge a much more successful path, he said.

8.17am update: Brexit can be a “win-win”, says Airbus chief

Aerospace giant Airbus is planning to step up production in post-Brexit Britain, the company’s chief executive has said in a massive boost for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Guilaume Faury predicted a “win-win” situation – while lamenting the “uncoordinated” state of air travel in Europe.

Mr Faury, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, hinted at the possibility of the company building a a replacement fleet of helicopters in the UK, if it wins the MoD contract.

He said: “We want to grow in the UK.

“We will be willing to do more than we are doing to today, to have a win-win for the UK and Airbus.”

7.52am update: UK ‘gets revenge on Brussels for playing stupid games’ as EU’s punishment plan backfires

A Conservative peer has explained how Britain can “get our revenge on the EU” as he warned that Brussels was “shooting itself in the foot” by playing games with the UK.

Tory peer Lord Moylan explained the European Union’s protectionism will backfire badly on the bloc. He predicted Britain will “leave the EU behind” as Britain has “its revenge on Brussels”.

Speaking on talkRADIO, host Kevin O’Sullivan questioned the Conservative peer on how Britain could “retaliate” against the EU’s red tape and blockades.

Lord Moylan said: “While they are playing games with us the people who are suffering from their protectionism are actually their own consumers.

“If they make imports difficult to get hold off, it is their own people that suffer and their own businesses that need those imports.

7.29am update: Fears as hijacked cars set on fire in Northern Ireland after rioting

Riots in Northern Ireland continue for a second night as protestors set on fire hijacked cars, according to reports.

Three cars were hijacked and lit on fire in the loyalist O’Neill/Doagh Road area of Newtownabbey on Saturday evening. Video footage shows cars being burned and rioters targeting a police van.

According to the BBC, police were attacked with petrol bombs and fireworks in the area.

At about 8pm, a crowd of 30 to 40 people blocked a roundabout with two burning cars.

7.19am update: Huge surge in support for Brexit as hopeful Brits turns against vengeful EU

The latest polling shows a surge of optimism has shot through Britain with more people believing the country is going in the right direction and glad the UK has escaped the European Union.

The transformation in attitudes uncovered by Ipsos Mori will strengthen Boris Johnson, with an overwhelming majority of Conservatives optimistic about the future.

Today’s positive polling comes in the wake of the successful roll-out of the vaccination programme and a series of aggressive moves by the EU, such as threats to curtail vaccine exports, which may have heightened euroscepticism.

Back in October, only 18 percent of people thought Great Britain was going in the right direction, with 53 percent saying it was going the wrong way. But optimists have now taken the lead for the first time since April 2020, with 41 percent saying we are heading the right way and just 36 percent thinking we are travelling in the wrong direction.

7.14am update: Scotland could be dragged back into the EU’s nightmare CFP, warns insider

Brexit has given fishermen increased freedom but there is great “anxiety” the industry in Scotland could be damaged if Nicola Sturgeon pushes to rejoin the EU.

Throughout Brexit, fishermen criticised the European Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) and there is concern they could be dragged back into it, one industry insider has revealed.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations Barrie Deas warned there was great concern the industry in Scotland could be harmed if Ms Sturgeon takes the country back into the EU.

Commenting on the possibility of Scottish fishermen returning to the policy, Mr Deas said: “I think there’s great anxiety that the Scottish industry would be back would be dragged back into the common fisheries policy.

7am update: Brussels “shooting itself in the foot”

Brussels is “shooting itself in the foot” in a foolish attempt to punish the UK for Brexit, a think tank analysis has suggested, with exports to Britain falling far faster than to the rest of the world compared with last year.

Facts4EU pored over figures supplied by the bloc’s statistics department, Eurostat, and came up with some conclusions which will make uncomfortable reading for European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

With restrictions imposed to slow the spread of COVID-10 having impacted exports the world over last year, Facts4EU’s investigation nevertheless uncovered a striking difference when comparing those from EU countries to the rest of the world, and to the UK.

Between January 2020 and January 2021, exports to the rest of the world fell by 10.8 percent. However, during the same time frame, exports to the UK fell by 27.4 percent.

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