Gamal Abdel Nasser was the famous Egyptian dictator who shot to notoriety after nationalising the Suez Canal. A political ideology developed around him and was dubbed Nasserism. It combined elements of Arab socialism, nationalism and repuplicanism.
In a opinion piece for the Daily Telegraph, one of the leading architects of Brexit, Daniel Hannan, accused Brussels of deliberately endangering British lives out of spite. He claimed that Eurocrats, furious at their own incompetence in procuring vaccines for EU citizens, decided to punish the UK for its vaccine rollout success.
Referring to the bitter dispute between Brussels and AstraZeneca, the former MEP wrote: “The rights and wrongs of that dispute, though, are beside the point.
“The EU’s quarrel is with AstraZeneca, not with Britain.”
He continued: “In pursuit of its quarrel, Brussels announced plans to block the export of vaccines from a completely unrelated company, the American corporation Pfizer, to Britain – vaccines which no one disputed that the UK had purchased, and on which the EU did not pretend to have any legal claim.
“In other words, Brussels was threatening to halt the sale of life-saving drugs to a neighbouring country, not in response to any provocation, but simply because it was cross that that country was further advanced in its vaccination programme.”
He concludes: “Eurocrats are behaving not so much like mini-Trumps as like 1960s Nasserite dictators.
“They are deliberately disrupting supply at the height of a pandemic.
“And their petulance, shockingly, is aimed at the only pharmaceutical company in the world which is high-mindedly offering the vaccine to all comers on a not-for-profit basis.”
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However, the UK-Swedish company abruptly announced last month delays to its European deliveries, which according to media reports would mean a 60 percent cut in supplies to the end of March.
The European Commission has been widely criticised from within the European Union for its strategy over vaccine procurement.
It has been characterised as “acting slowly, bureaucratically and in a protectionist way” by Die Zeit newspaper in Germany and of “providing the best example for Brexit.”