Nicola Sturgeon savaged over ‘laughable’ claims Brexit unrelated to vaccination rates

Nicola Sturgeon says Brexit vaccine argument is ‘over simplistic’

Scotland’s First Minister, who wants to re-join the European Union, suggested that assuming the difference between the UK and the EU’s vaccination rates was overly “simplistic”. She made the remarks during a discussion on Good Morning Britain, prompting backlash from critics.

The SNP leader said: “Of course you can make that argument but sometimes I think it’s a slightly over-simplistic argument, but we should all be pleased that the vaccination programme is going so well.”

She added: “The issues around Brexit are much wider and more fundamental but even on this narrow point I think if you were to apply really detailed scrutiny it wouldn’t be quite that simple.”

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross hit back at Ms Sturgeon, praising the UK’s immunisation drive as “a tremendous success”.

He said: “The UK Government’s vaccine programme has been such a tremendous success that a million doses are available to the Scottish Government on overnight delivery – and more are on the way.

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“Analysis shows that if the UK had followed the SNP’s advice and opted-in to the EU scheme, we would have about half a million fewer people vaccinated in Scotland.

“The First Minister’s laughable attempt today at spinning the UK’s success as ‘too simplistic’ is just another example of how petty the SNP have been at acknowledging the benefits of being in the UK, not the EU scheme.”

Ms Sturgeon has also come under fire as Scotland’s vaccine rollout slumped behind other UK countries.

She was accused of making a “bogus” claim after she said inoculating the elderly in care homes “takes longer and is more labour intensive”.

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “The public want to see the vaccine rollout accelerating — but instead we are seeing the worst daily figures yet.

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie said: “The public want to see the vaccine rollout accelerating — but instead we are seeing the worst daily figures yet.

“For weeks, the First Minister has been claiming that Scotland’s vaccination lag was due to the decision to focus on care homes.

“Now almost all care home residents on both sides of the border have been vaccinated and the gap is still widening.

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“The care home excuse was bogus. The First Minister has let people down when it mattered most.”

According to Ms Sturgeon 88 percent of all care home staff have received their first dose, as well as 80 percent of those over 80 in the community – compared to nearly 90 percent in England.

More than half of people in their 70s were given the jab in England, compared to 14 percent of those aged 75-79 having the vaccine in Scotland.

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