I believe the UK is the first Western nation to approve a vaccine against the Wuhan coronavirus. Apparently, it is also leading other European nations when it comes to efficiently purchasing that vaccine.
Why? John Fund suggests that the answer is Brexit.
Regarding purchasing of the vaccine, Fund quotes Hugo Fry, the British managing director of Sanofi, the world’s fifth-biggest drug maker. According to Fry, the UK’s decoupling from the EU’s regulatory and purchasing bureaucracy enabled the “nimble buying” of hundreds of millions of doses. Thanks to Brexit, “the UK was able to do [the purchasing] in a single deal [that] meant that it got its deal done before France and before Germany.”
Regarding approval of the vaccine, Fund quotes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:
The EU lacks anything like the UK’s Regulation 174 enabling fast-track action to fight pandemics, or chemical and nuclear attacks. Bureaucracy and legalistic inertia will give the virus one last chance to cause maximum devastation on the Continent, and this slippage of several weeks will have serious consequences for a clutch of eurozone economies already in trouble.
A German health minister says that EU countries decided not to pursue emergency approval of a vaccine. Why? Apparently, to maintain the solidarity of the EU system bloc.
How many lives will be lost in the name of EU “solidarity”? A great many probably, but none in the UK.