AstraZeneca deals UK – EU

Why should the UK get first priority on the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Common Sense reasoning.

An AstraZeneca spokesperson said that AstraZeneca made a binding deal with the United Kingdom in May 2020, for “the development of a dedicated supply chain for the U.K.”, and that the UK provided £65 million to help the University of Oxford execute its production plan.

This British supply was therefore already secured by the time the EU countries signed an agreement, a month later in June 2020, to obtain up to 300 million doses of the vaccines.

The European Union is now saying that THEY should have priority over AstraZeneca supplies, even though they were later than the UK in making an agreement.

Legal Reasoning

A lawyer, familiar with the development of the U.K. text, stated that the contract sealed with London was written by people with significant experience of purchasing agreements, specifically drug-buying deals. The European Commission’s contract, by contrast, shows a lack of commercial common sense, in the lawyer’s view.

The U.K. contract makes it clear that London had thought through the entire Oxford/AstraZeneca supply chain, rather than just focusing on the delivery of the vaccines. The EU, by comparison, was more unclear, even as to where its plants would be.

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