Labour & Plaid Cymru blasted for EU threat silence– ‘Couldn’t dash quick enough on Brexit'

Andrew RT Davies, the Welsh Conservative leader, hit out at the parties for “dashing to Brussels” to moan about Brexit following the 2016 referendum. But when faced with threats from EU bureaucrats about preventing “life-saving vaccines” reaching Wales because it has bungled its own rollout, he claimed they were “silent”.

Mr Davies, who leads the Tories in the Welsh Parliament, was referring to a spat between Boris Johnson’s government and Brussels.

Last week EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned that if Covid vaccine supplies in Europe do not improve, the EU “will reflect whether exports to countries who have higher vaccination rates than us are still proportionate”.

She accused AstraZeneca – which helped develop the Oxford University vaccine – of having “underproduced and underdelivered” to the bloc.

Welsh Labour and Plaid have yet to condemn the actions – which prompted Mr Davies’ furious response.

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This has left it facing a third wave of coronavirus, with France the latest country to announce a lockdown, with less than a tenth of the bloc’s population vaccinated.

The EU’s outburst also prompted a furious reaction from the UK’s government.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab said: “I think it takes some explaining because the world’s watching. It also cuts across the direct assurances that we had from the commission.

“We expect those assurances and legal contracted supply to be respected. Frankly, I’m surprised we’re having this conversation.

“It is normally what the UK and EU team up with to reject when other countries with less democratic regimes than our own engage in that kind of brinkmanship.”

It has since emerged that capitals including Paris, Berlin and Rome backed the bloc’s threat to halt vaccine exports to countries that were not reciprocating, including Britain.

The news comes as support for independence in Wales grows.

Last year revealed how Welsh independence campaigners wanted to use the Brexit transition period as an outline for breaking away from the UK.

It comes as a poll suggested last year that just under 40 percent of people in Wales who were asked said they would vote for independence if a referendum were held tomorrow.

First minister Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour are against independence.

But in January Mr Drakeford called for the United Kingdom to be “radically redrawn” in order for it to survive.

Calling for more devolved powers, he said the break-up of the UK was a “real and present danger”.

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