The UK government has told the European Union it will not take part in the bloc’s bid to secure a coronavirus vaccine.
A letter from the UK’s ambassador to Brussels, Sir Tim Barrow, said Britain “has decided on this occasion not to join” the initiative aimed at driving down the cost of buying doses across the bloc.
But the top diplomat insisted Britain remained determined to “strengthen” its working with the EU in the fight against Covid-19.
The rejection of the union’s plan follows talks with the European Commission over potential British use of the €2.7bn emergency fund which aimed to strike advance purchase agreements with drug companies working on potential vaccine candidates.
Britain was eligible to take part in the scheme because it remains in a one-year transition period with the EU following Brexit.