Contractual Dispute or Vaccine Wars?

We are currently seeing much concern and indeed criticism of the EU over the issue of Astra Zeneca vaccines.

In such circumstances it is often a good idea to stand back and break the issue down into its component parts.

What we are seeing is essentially a dispute over a contract entered into between two organisations specifically the EU and Astra Zeneca for the supply of a certain product.

Astra Zeneca agreed to supply the EU with a certain amount of the product by a certain date and has now said they are unable to do so. The EU is saying that is not acceptable and is insisting that Astra Zeneca deliver what was promised in that contract.

If we were talking about an ordinary product such as pens or paper nobody would be making a fuss – but we are talking about a highly emotive subject – a vaccine in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century.

The press and our opponents are stirring things up for different reasons. The first to sell papers, the second to cynically and dishonesty advance their cause. What a surprise!

All the EU is actually attempting to do is secure supplies of a critical product for its citizens – and if it were the UK government in that situation the press and our opponents would be encouraging our government to do exactly what the EU is doing.

You can find more detail in this BBC article