Reform Party leader and former Brexit Party MEP Richard Tice demanded a halt to Brexit deal payments as retaliation following the European Union’s threats of a jab blockade. In a furious tirade to talkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer, Mr Tice called for “all future payments” to the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement to be “halted” as well as invoking Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. In his dismantling Mr Tice went on to brand the bloc as “protectionist” and “a bunch of bullies” following their threats of a jab blockade.
Mr Tice rejected retaliatory blockades of Pfizer vaccine ingredients, which come from a factory in Yorkshire, to the EU but insisted instead “we should interfere at the top level.”
He suggested the UK should make it clear to the EU leadership that “we will stop all future payments to the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement.”
He added other actions such as invoking Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol, which would see the UK take unilateral action over the protocol devised to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, will send a clear message to European leaders.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement struck in January 2020, the UK agreed to pay an estimated divorce bill of £32.9 billion.
He continued to say the U.K. should give the European Union “literally a couple of weeks notice” on any action taken and added.
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Mr Tice said: “There is no question at all this is (EU leaders) trying to cover up for their complete failures through the whole vaccine procurement programme.”
He stressed how people in the UK “have seen the EU leadership for what it is.”
The leader of Reform Party UK and former Brexit Party MEP went on to say that if there was a referendum today Brits would vote “75/25 to leave”.
“It is protectionist, it is intimidatory, and when it suits them bluntly they are a bunch of bullies.”
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Mr Tice’s comments come after a chaotic few weeks for the bloc.
On Wednesday European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen threatened to block the export of coronavirus vaccines to the UK accusing AstraZeneca of having “underproduced and underdelivered” to the bloc.
von der Leyen warned the European Union will consider stopping vaccine exports to countries with higher coverage rates than its own.
She said she is “ready to use whatever tool we need” to ensure the bloc gets jabs.
Recently the AstraZeneca vaccine was temporarily suspended in a number of EU countries over fears it caused blood clots.
But the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) urged these countries to re-start the rollout of the jab following little evidence for the decision of the bloc
The EMA found the jab was “safe and effective” to use.
European Union leaders will meet this Thursday to decide on whether they will introduce a blockade on jabs to the U.K.