Sir Iain Duncan Smith declared that the EU “blinked first” in its vaccine war threat with the UK. Speaking with Julia Hartley-Brewer on talkRADIO, the former Conservative party leader also warned that the EU will “come back at us again and again” in its attempt to punish the UK over vaccines. He said that the European Commission, led by Ursula von der Leyen, was coming under fire from member state leaders and it was “trying to pick a scapegoat and this time it was the UK”.
This comes as EU leaders rowed back on threats to ban vaccine exports to the UK yesterday.
At a summit on Thursday, European Union leaders stopped short of banning vaccine exports following a protracted row with the Anglo-Swedish manufacturer AstraZeneca.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had earlier warned that “blockades” were not “sensible”.
Julia Hartley-Brewer pressed Sir Iain on the fallout from the row with Brussels.
JUST IN: France warns it won’t be ‘blackmailed’ into sending jabs to UK
She asked: “Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium saw sense, it would appear, at this meeting of European leaders yesterday, that is carrying on today.
“They basically urged the EU to back down from this threat to ban vaccine exports.
“France, Italy and Spain all demanded the EU back Ursula von der Leyen on this.
“Do you think we will now not see a full-on vaccine war? Have they just seen sense? Have we stepped back from a full vaccine war?”
He continued: “I think the problem we have here is, having stepped back now, the EU will come back at us again and again.
“They are lashing around because their own failure to be able to get proper contracts with these companies and get them early enough to have a proper supply.
“They are now blaming everyone else for that.
“I saw they raided an AstraZeneca factory under the orders of the EU two days ago in Italy, claiming they were stockpiling millions of vaccines going to the UK.
“But it turns out most were going to the EU and those that weren’t were going to the third world. So they had to backtrack on that.
“This is more about the Commission in a mess, under fire from national governments, and trying to pick a scapegoat which is the UK. They need to calm down.”