Britain faces having to wait longer and pay more for a coronavirus vaccine because we have left the EU.

Answering a question put by Daniel Zeichner MP, the Health Minister confirmed that a European Union COVID-19 vaccine would only be authorised to use in Britain up to 31 December 2020.

This means that afterwards it would have to go through a separate licensing process which could lead to delays and more costs.

Going forward the country will no longer be part of the EU’s regulatory regime, which has long been UK led and allows for “accelerated assessment” of products developed by drugs companies during a pandemic.

Daniel Zeichner MP said: “Yet again the Tory government is putting their narrow ideological Euro-phobia ahead of the national interest. When the European Medicines Agency was based in Britain, our scientists used to be at the forefront of getting approval for new medicines, now we risk being left out, and left behind. Science is an international endeavour, with Cambridge scientists leading on drug discovery – it is vital that we work in close partnership with European colleagues to get medicines to tackle the virus approved as quickly as possible.”

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