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Fail by example

Nationalist rhetoric will hurt global efforts to roll out a Covid vaccine

If the UK is going through the five stages of grief over its 2016 decision to leave the EU, it seems to be permanently stuck in stage one: denial. Numerous prominent politicians, particularly from the governing Conservative Party, and parts of the country’s media are proclaiming Brexit’s success louder and louder, even though the process has become increasingly convoluted and damaging. 

A case in point: British education secretary Gavin Williamson went on London-based LBC Radio last week to laud the UK’s approval of a Covid-19 vaccine, pointing out that Britain was the first country to take this step. “The UK got the vaccine first because we are a much better country,” he said, implying that other nations such as France, Belgium, Germany and the United States pale in comparison to Britain in terms of pluck and scientific prowess. 

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