Matt Hancock takes thinly-veiled swipe at EU – ‘We will NOT block vaccines’

Matt Hancock says UK 'will not block exports' for vaccines

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock used Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing to praise Britain and its efforts in the fight against coronavirus. He commended the nation for its swift and decisive action on the vaccine, most notably the Astrazeneca vaccine. He insisted, post-pandemic he will ensure that the UK makes its market irresistible to pharmaceutical investment.

He added that the UK will not ever block exports of pharmaceutical companies to anywhere around the world, as a dig at the EU for attempting to block vaccines getting into the UK. 

After a question from the public, Mr Hancock explained the Government’s intentions post-covid for a good pharmaceutical industry. 

The question was: “During the pandemic, the UK has emerged as a powerhouse of biomedical research, innovation and development.

“What plans does the Government have to continue this beyond Covid, and make the Uk a global leader in this area?”.

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Mr Hancock replied: “The truth is, in my view, in this pandemic the UK life sciences and biomedical research have given a huge amount to the world.

“Probably our greatest contribution to saving lives and tackling this pandemic around the world is the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“In particular, the decision to ensure it is provided at cost, without any charge for profit or intellectual property, it has been a huge and heroic effort.” 

The Health Secretary then went on to make a jab at the European Union for their frustration at the UK for its vaccine success and agreement with AstraZeneca on providing vaccines for Britons.

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He said: “To make sure this is very successful going forward we are going to ensure that we attract onshore here in the UK.

“Not just the research, the innovation and development you mention but also the manufacturing of these products.

“We want to make it an impossible choice for a pharmaceutical company not to invest in the UK.

“One of our commitments is that we will never block exports to anywhere around the world of a product made for a market around the world.

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“You may have noticed you struck a chord with your question, it is something I care deeply about.

“The UK can help collaboratively, working with others around the world to save and improve lives not just in terms of Covid and this pandemic but the many things we need to do in the future.

“Things like tackling cancer, research for dementia and so many other vital things that we need to do.”

 

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