On 23 June 2023, Boris Johnson took to Twitter to wish his followers a “Happy Independence Day” and to remind them of all the benefits that Brexit has already helped deliver. This included “the fastest vaccine roll out in Europe.”
Until the 1st of January 2021, the UK was in a transition period within the EU. It was, at the time, still a member of the EU’s single market and of the European Medical Agency (EMA). Throughout this transition period, the UK and its medical agencies operated under EMA rules
The UK’s vaccines were procured whilst still a member of the single market and the EMA. Further, the UK’s early rollout was secured by the use of Regulation 174, an EU provision allowing member states to bypass the authorisation of the EMA and issue their own medicines
The UK’s vaccine rollout had nothing to do with Brexit. Vaccines were procured whilst the UK was still a member of the single market and the EMA. The vaccine rollout was approved under an EU regulation which was available to all EU member states. Boris Johnson was wrong to say that the UK was able to enact its vaccine rollout due to Brexit, as the UK was still in a transition period and operating under EU rules at the time when vaccinations were procured and authorised.
Johnson is a liar.
We sent a letter to Johnson’s personal and office address offering him the chance to respond. The letter was received (and signed for) by both, but no reply.