- “We decided to take an additional 100 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, which is already being used to vaccinate people across the EU.”
- The governments of EU member states formally approved the EU-UK trade agreement after Brexit.
- It is the largest trade agreement to date, whether it is for the UK or the EU.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter that the EU will purchase an additional 100 million doses of the new coronavirus vaccines, developed by BioNTech and Pfizer. The EU will have a total of 300 million doses of the vaccine. The vaccine has been administered throughout the EU and is considered safe and effective.
“We decided to take an additional 100 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, which is already being used to vaccinate people across the EU,” she said on Twitter.
“We will therefore have 300 million doses of this vaccine, which was assessed as safe and effective,” President von der Leyen added.
EU Member States Approve Trade Agreement with UK
The governments of EU member states formally approved the EU-UK trade agreement after Brexit, paving the way for the agreement to take effect on January 1 next year.
Sebastian Fischer, a spokesperson for Germany, the rotating EU presidency, announced on Tuesday that EU members have approved the EU-UK trade cooperation agreement through a written process of provisional application, which will take effect on January 1.
After EU countries approve, the British House of Representatives will vote on the agreement on Wednesday. If passed, the agreement will take effect from January 1. The European Parliament will also have to vote on the agreement in February or March next year.
The day before Christmas this year, the European Union announced that it had reached a trade agreement with the United Kingdom, which will protect the interests of both sides after Britain leaves the European Union, protect fair competition and EU standards, and will provide zero tariffs and zero quotas for trade in goods.
During the five-and-a-half-year transition period, Britain’s fishing quota in its own waters increased by 25% of the EU’s concession. The EU will temporarily adopt the trade agreement before February 28.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted:
“Just spoken with EU Council President Charles Michel. I welcomed the importance of the UK/EU Agreement as a new starting point for our relationship, between sovereign equals. We looked forward to the formal ratification of the agreement and to working together on shared priorities, such as tackling climate change.”
This trade agreement marks that the UK, the second largest economy in Europe, has completely separated from the European Union dominated by Germany and France.
The regional joint framework established after World War II has been broken. The relationship between the UK and its largest trading partner, the EU, and other countries in the world has entered a new era.
It is the largest trade agreement to date, whether it is for the UK or the EU. The UK estimates that the total value of bilateral trade between the UK and Europe is £668 billion.
However, the agreement does not cover the service industry, especially in the financial services industry that the UK values. The EU has not promised to give the UK industry companies the “equivalent status” expected.
The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said on Sunday that the UK Treasury Department will give priority to negotiations with the EU on a memorandum of understanding in 2021, and discussions between the UK and the EU on the “equivalent status” of the financial industry will continue.
Moreover, according to the agreement, if the UK and the EU can prove that the fishery quota adjustments have brought negative economic and social impacts on them in the future, both parties have the right to impose tariffs on each other’s fish products.
This kind of concession was denounced by the Federation of British Fishermen’s Organizations as “treason.” The media predicts that the UK is likely to take a hard line on the fishery issue in the next round of negotiations.