EU boss von der Leyen ups the ante with fresh vaccine export ban threats

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has doubled down on her warped threats to ban the export of European-made doses of the British-developed Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, saying menacingly that her bloc “have the option of banning a planned export.”

“That’s the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfil your contract with Europe first before you start supplying to other countries” said the top Eurocrat.

This site reported on Wednesday how von der Leyen had already signalled that extreme measures were not off the table, as she claimed the bloc was in the “crisis of the century and I’m not ruling out anything for now.”

Her remarks then suggested a “legal basis” for use of emergency powers under Article 122, which would let Eurocrats seize vaccine production plants, suspend the intellectual property rights of drug manufacturers, and block the export of life-saving medicines.

She now warns the Anglo-Swedish drug-maker that “there are a number of outstanding issues with regard to the contract that we now need to clarify, to this end we have sent a formal reminder to AstraZeneca.”

The issue appears to be that lousy unaccountable EU deal-makers made bad and late pacts with the drug-makers, with even top Europhile Guy Verhofstaft branding the scheme a “fiasco”.

Member states are apparently split on plans to withhold jab shipments, with some being overcome with frustration brought about by the bungled Brussels scheme while others fear the consequences of triggering a vaccine trade war.

We reported earlier today that the UK could make vaccine production in Brussels “grind to a halt” by withholding the export of key lipids if Brussels bullies try to hold up our doses.

An attempt to ban exports into the UK would also require the EU to impose a vaccine customs border on the island of Ireland – a move that desperate Eurocrats attempted to carry off in January, before being forced into a cringing U-turn by the British and Irish governments.