Pro-EU campaigner hits back at Brexiteers over vaccines debate

The LBC's Nick Ferrari (L) and Dr Mike Galsworthy

The LBC's Nick Ferrari (L) and Dr Mike Galsworthy - Credit: Twitter, Facebook, LBC

An anti-Brexit campaigner has called on politicians in Westminster and Brussels to "think more maturely" after the EU invoked Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Scientists for EU director Dr Mike Galsworthy said the "kerfuffle" over the weekend "in no way justifies burning £200billion on Brexit".

On Friday, EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen triggered Article 16 of the Brexit treaty in a bid to halt the flow of coronavirus vaccines produced in the EU from entering Britain via Northern Ireland.

The order was quickly rescinded following an up-roar from Westminter, Dublin, and Belfast, who said they were not consulted on the move.

Article 16 is intended to be used when the protocol is unexpectedly leading to serious "economic, societal or environmental difficulties".

It allows the UK or the EU to act unilaterally to avoid these difficulties - but doesn't mean the protocol is suspended. The EU sought to impose it following a row over supplies of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine last week.

Speaking on LBC radio, Galsworthy said the EU had "clearly messed up big time" and claimed the move had seriously undermined trust between the UK and the EU.

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"This is something we should all be alarmed by," he said, adding: "Everyone start thinking more maturely now. This is not the right way to go. We're only safe once we're all safe."

Asked whether the incident proved Brexiteers' suspicions about the EU were correct, Galsworthy said: "No. I think this little one-week kerfuffle in no way justifies burning £200billion on Brexit so far and stuffing imports and exports services and travel with more paperwork that many businesses can handle."

Twitter users backed Galsworthy.

One user, by the name Andy, wrote: "The EU Commission made a stupid and impulsive decision that would have been stopped by leaders if they hadn’t realised their mistake first. This changes nothing over Brexit apart from possibly being an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Ireland, which is helpful."

Rich added: "Five years of all the Brexiteer mistakes and not once did I hear Nick ask any of them 'Could this make a Brexiteer think that they were wrong'."

Philip Hobbs wrote: "EU makes a bad decision - EU admits error and cancels decision @Conservatives make a bad decision - conservatives refuse to admit they made a mistake and double down further."

"I'm sorry, that's a bit like asking if you think you supporting the wrong football team because one player was booked in one game," another posted.

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