James Cleverly says UK has ‘transportation plans’ for vaccine
Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly, insisted the UK was looking at multiple ways to get the coronavirus vaccine into the country. Sky News’ Kay Burley questioned why the EU would help the UK get the vaccine into the country if Brexit trade talks broke down. Mr Cleverly argued the UK has plans in place regardless of what happens with Brexit.
He added that he was not confident the EU would help the UK due to the magnitude of the situation.
Mr Cleverly said: “We have looked at the use of non-commercial flights.
“We have got border arrangements in place and we will ensure, absolutely ensure, we get it.”
When asked what arrangements, Mr Cleverly said: “I haven’t got the details to hand, but as you can imagine everyone understands the significance of vaccines.
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“People’s lives are at stake and I have no doubt that the EU will help us to facilitate our travel.
“We have got out own independent transportation plans to ensure that that vaccine supply will come to the UK.”
Ms Burley questioned what impact deteriorating Brexit talks would have on the UK’s ability to quickly and efficiently get the coronavirus vaccine into the UK from Europe.
She said: “You think that we will be able to jump the queue with the vaccine?
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“Why would they want to help us?
“If we don’t agree a Brexit deal, why would they want to help us with anything else?”
Mr Cleverly replied: “I have absolutely no doubt about it.
“There are lives at stake and I don’t have that degree of cynicism towards the EU.”
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So far, the UK and EU have not been able to agree on a Brexit trade deal, however, Mr Cleverly admitted a deal still could be made.
He said: “It is not completely surprising that this is going to the wire.
“But we will keep negotiating hard on behalf of the British people to get a good trading agreement and get a deal done, we will use as much time as we have got available.”
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