The former BBC presenter became embroiled in a Twitter spat when he warned the EU was still in control of COVID-19 vaccine exports in the wake of last Friday’s Northern Ireland Protocol debacle.
He tweeted: “Despite retreat, EU still controls vaccine exports.
“Brussels: ‘We’re just collecting data re how much vaccine produced and where it’s going’.
“Reality: new rules bar = vaccine exports need prior approval: ‘Without production of valid export authorisation, exportation is prohibited’.”
A critic, using the FBPE 3.5 percent hashtag, a reference to the supposed figure the UK economy will shrink by due to Brexit, replied: “Hmm. Is this an example of the ‘unbiased’ nature of GB News then? I think I’ll give it a miss.”
But Mr Neil shot back: “#FBPE cultists are banned from watching GB News.
“Those with the additional 3.5 percent tag are banned for life.”
FBPE is short for Follow Back Pro-EU and Twitter users use #FBPE 3.5% to indicate they support being part of the European Union.
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Mr Neil is chairman of GB News. The channel’s launch date has not yet been confirmed but Mr Neil said last year it was aiming for a March 2021 launch.
The channel said it was “committed to impartial journalism and a fresh approach to news, covering stories and issues that reflect the concerns and conversations of the whole UK”.
It plans to air 6,500 hours a year of “original news, opinion and debate” and how vowed to steer clear of a 24-hour rolling news model and instead offer “appointment-to-view programming”.
Mr Neil, who presented live political programmes on the BBC for 25 years, left the corporation after leading its coverage of the last November’s US elections.
He had been in talks with BBC bosses about future roles after the cancellation of his popular politics programme Th Andrew Neil Show but later accepted chairmanship of the new channel.
Mr Neil is no stranger to full-blooded exchanges on social media and often uses Twitter as a platform for his forthright views.
One supporter Tweeted: “Andrew Neil’s critics clearly fear his intellect and debating skills.
“But what they fear most are those qualities they often themselves lack.
“He researches impeccably, fact checks ruthlessly, and argues from the firm footing of truth.”