Remainers lose faith in EU after jabs row
BRUSSELS’ bitter vaccine threats have convinced angry Remainers to turn their backs on the European Union and support Brexit, research has revealed.
One in five pro-EU voters said they would now back quitting the bloc, according to a poll. Only nine per cent of Leave voters wanted to rejoin.
If the historic ballot on EU membership was rerun, such a surge in support would have given an eight-point victory to Brexit, compared with the 52-48 per cent majority in 2016.
The change of heart follows widespread anger over the EU’s bid to prevent life-saving medical supplies reaching Britain’s shores.
In the meantime, our hugely successful Covid jabs rollout was helping the country bounce back from lockdown.
The poll for Bloomberg news agency found two thirds of British voters believed our hard-fought independence had been the driving force behind the vaccinations.
Sixty-seven per cent said Brussels behaved in a “hostile” way in its dispute with AstraZeneca over vaccination supplies.
Eurocrats have repeatedly threatened to seize shipments of doses heading to Britain in the face of the bloc’s snail-pace vaccine scheme.
Only 13 per cent of the 2,002 people polled said the EU had acted like an “ally and a friend” in the cross-Channel fight against the pandemic. Brexiteer Becky, 34, a flower seller from London, said: “The EU are behaving like a bitter ex.We’ve left and they’ve not really been an ally when they could have been.”
Her co-worker, Simon Zucconi, 51, whose father was an Italian migrant, voted Remain but said he felt lucky to be in Britain when the pandemic struck.
Simon said: “The vaccine was amazingly quick. I’d be worried if I was in Italy. I’m actually proud of the Government.”
The UK has given almost 40 million coronavirus jabs. By contrast, Italy has managed to deliver only 13 million doses – below the EU’s average rate of 21 per 100 inhabitants. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel called yesterday for vaccine production to be stepped up across the continent, saying Europe’s third wave of infections would be the toughest to rein in.
And in a further blow for Brussels’ joint vaccines buy-up, Bulgaria’s premier revealed Eurocrats had agreed a price increase of more than 60 per cent for future purchases of Pfizer doses.
Boyko Borissov said: “Pfizer was 12 euro, then it became 15.50. Contracts are now being signed for 900 million vaccines at a price of 19.50 euro.”
Meanwhile, Europol boss Catherine De Bolle warned the pandemic had put police forces at “breaking point”.
She also said there was a sudden surge in the trade of fake Covid vaccines and home testing kits.