Brexit and the advantage of being nimble

Brexit and the advantage of being nimble
Trucks delayed at ports; fresh fish waiting for customs clearance: the headaches caused by Brexit are real enough, says Juliet Samuel. But we also have a compelling illustration of Brexit’s potential benefits: our decision to stay out of the EU’s vaccination scheme. Had the UK accepted the EU’s invitation to join, we’d have had to jettison independent deals already made with promising suppliers and instead limit our initial engagement to suppliers chosen on the basis of satisfying rival political agendas: the US-German partnership, Pfizer/BioNTech; and the UK-French alternative developed by Sanofi and GSK. Instead our Vaccine Taskforce, led by the well-connected Kate Bingham, speedily built relationships with the vaccine front runners and, well ahead of Brussels, secured early supplies of the right drugs. It has become an article of faith that success in the modern world always depends on “scale and uniformity”; that “large blocs are beautiful”. Not so. Autonomy allows for “nimbleness and the ability to tailor policy to one set of interests, rather than 28”. Yes, it has its hidden costs, but so too does the EU’s unwieldy decision-making process.
 

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