HERE is the great unexpected gift of Brexit – the coronavirus vaccine will be available here before anywhere else in the world.
We have brilliant, world-beating scientists and clinicians to thank for the vaccines that will eventually usher in Covid Liberation Day.
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But we have the new dynamic attitude forged by Brexit to thank for getting the vaccine to our people so incredibly quickly.
Vaccinations will start for care home residents and staff on Tuesday morning.
In the EU, they may get around to it some time in January, if they are lucky. You would need to be Bob Geldof not to laugh.
In February the Government announced it would no longer attend meetings of drug watchdog the European Medicines Agency.
Embittered Remainers were quick to sneer that the stupid British would be at the back of the queue for not sticking with the EU’s vaccine alliance.
Wrong. Just shockingly, jaw-droppingly WRONG.
WHY SO SLOW?
Red tape — the EU’s greatest export — ensures no vaccination programme can begin in Europe until January at the earliest.
The EMA, the EU regulator, won’t rule on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine until December 29. Why so slow, monsieur?
We used our own emergency regulation to approve the immediate roll-out of this life-changing jab.
Until January 1, we are still lumbered with EU drug laws.
But our new can-do spirit gave us the impetus to go our own way and confidently exploit this loophole.
That would never have happened before Brexit. Meanwhile in Europe, pandemic-stricken communities wait for their scientists to stir from their bureaucratic slumber.
Are you watching, Michel Barnier?
Yes, we are still a long way from Covid Liberation Day. It will take months to deliver the vaccination across the country.
The death toll will rise. Students will have their education disrupted. Healthy businesses will collapse. Many people will lose their jobs.
We will all endure months of debilitating, joy-sucking restrictions.
But the end of these dark days is now in sight. And the abject misery of this health pandemic will far more likely end sooner here than it will in the EU.
In theory the nominally sovereign nations of the EU could have done exactly what the UK has done.
PROUD OF OUR COUNTRY
Not one of them chose to do so. Instead Brussels issued an edict that the 27 EU nations must act as one.
“What we opted for was a common European approach to move forward together,” says Jens Spahn, Germany’s Health minister.
How’s that working out, mein herr?
Forgive my gloating. But for years, anyone who believed in Brexit has been derided as a bigoted fruitcake.
Yet faced with the greatest crisis that most of us have ever known, freeing ourselves from the dead hand of EU bureaucracy looks like the self-evident smart move.
Normal life will return to the UK before the EU because our free, independent, gloriously nimble nation decided to trust our scientists and our own medicine and healthcare regulator.
No corners were cut. Our world-class experts simply acted with the urgency this crisis demands. While the EU deliberates, precious time is lost that will cost jobs and lives.
So who are the fruitcakes now?
And being lightning-fast to vaccinate our people is just the start.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that rolls out next week is an American-German collaboration that presents multiple logistical problems.
It is expensive. It must be transported at -70 degrees centigrade. It can only be moved four times.
But coming soon is a British-made vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, a biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, which costs just a few pounds and can be kept in an ordinary fridge.
It is quite possible that this country has invented the vaccine that will save the world.
I know the British are a modest, self-effacing people who do not like to boast.
But can’t we be proud of our country today?
‘Ever closer union’
A HORNY Hungarian MEP tried to jump out of a first-floor window when cops busted a 25-strong Brussels sex orgy.
So that’s what they mean by “ever closer union”.
Looks like we bailed out just in time.
Brit bout must be held in UK
ANTHONY JOSHUA is right – nothing will lift the spirits of this sports-mad country like seeing him fight Tyson Fury in 2021.
As AJ told my Sun colleague Dave Kidd: “It will be huge for the nation.”
Fury versus Joshua would be the biggest home sporting event in these islands since 1966. But only if they fight each other in the UK.
All the rumours suggest Joshua and Fury will fight in some distant land to maximise their earnings.
That would be a shame.
Fury versus Joshua will be drained of some of its magic and meaning if it happens in some hushed, sterile hall in Saudi Arabia, like the one where AJ fought his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr.
Nobody can blame a boxer for wanting to secure their family’s future.
As we saw when Daniel Dubois had his eye socket shattered by Joe Joyce last weekend, boxing is a mercilessly cruel sport in which any career can end in a moment.
But Tyson and Anthony are already set up for life. They would make a fortune even if they fought in your nan’s back garden.
Where their fight would mean the most is in front of 90,000 fans going bonkers at Wembley Stadium.
Here is the choice for these two great heavyweight champions. Do you want to make money? Or do you want to make history?
Message for you, rudey
LIKE a Victorian dad shouting, “Cover the legs on that table!” road chiefs at the DVLA have blocked a series of supposedly rude newnumber plates.
AS7O HLE, BL70 JOB and BS20 TRD are all for the chop.
The DVLA sniffed: “The vast majority are made available but we ensure they do not cause embarrassment or are in poor taste.”
But I stared at the banned SH7O AGR for ages and I am still not certain what I am meant to be guffawing about.
Never mind the BO70 OCK. The DVLA have got dirty minds.
PERSONALLY, I would never trust a man who played a villain in Paddington Bear 2, but the Hugh Grant-Nicole Kidman drama The Undoing kept you guessing until the final episode.
In the woke world of TV drama, you always suspected that the killer was unlikely to be a woman or from an ethnic minority.
Which narrowed the suspects down to Paddington Bear’s tormentor, Kiefer Sutherland’s dad and, long shots, those two odd children.
The real revelation of The Undoing was the eye-popping performance of Matilda de Angelis as Elena, the murder victim.
Even in the starry company of Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman, it was this doe-eyed, buxom unknown who stole the show.
Now that’s what I call a bust-out role.
DISABLED children are the forgotten victims of this health crisis.
According to a survey by the Disabled Children’s Partnership, one in four disabled kids is no longer in school due to coronavirus.
This is shocking, shameful and heartbreaking.
We are all in favour of “protecting the NHS”.
But disabled children deserve protection too.
Meg will love The Crown
DID the Queen really make snide remarks over breakfast about Prince Philip’s fondness for ballerinas?
Did Her Majesty really obsess about the civil war inside Mrs Thatcher’s Cabinet?
Did Prince Philip really get in Princess Diana’s face when her marriage to Charles was disintegrating?
I watched series 4 of The Crown, and all these things – and many more – struck me as highly unlikely.
And the way the slaughter of Lord Mountbatten and his family was turned into a dewy-eyed homage to the IRA made my stomach turn.
The Crown’s writer, Peter Morgan, also created The Queen for Helen Mirren.
Peter does not like the Royal Family much but he has ponced off them for so long they should put him on the Civil List.
Series 4 of The Crown reserves its sympathies for Princess Diana for all the misery allegedly inflicted on her by the royals.
Funnily enough, I imagine that Meghan Markle would love it.
Imagine that, Harry
IN his sermon about climate change, Prince Harry ponders: “What if every single one of us was a rain drop?”
Imagine no private planes, Harry. I wonder if you can.
No shock in frock
IT is 50 years since David Bowie appeared on the cover of his LP (ask your grandad) The Man Who Sold The World, while wearing a dress.
So there was nothing even a teeny bit groundbreaking or remotely controversial about Harry Styles wearing a dress on the cover of US Vogue.
Yet controversy has erupted. Commentator Candace Owens declares: “No society can survive without strong men . . . bring back manly men.”
Harry strikes back by posting a picture of himself in a gorgeous frock alongside the mocking words: “Bring back manly men.”
It is a very modern tiff, only possible because people get into a fuss about nothing on social media.
David Bowie did it all half a century ago.
And, as I recall, nobody raised an eyebrow.
Rita’s mole search
RITA ORA is really, really sorry that a temporary lapse of reason found her breaking lockdown restrictions by throwing a party to celebrate her 30th birthday party with 30 of her closest friends.
Now Rita is reportedly trying to find the mole who ratted her out.
Which makes it sounds as though the only thing Rita is really, really sorry about is getting caught.
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