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22 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

EU refutes UK government’s claims over coronavirus procurement scheme

By Samuel Horti

The UK had “ample opportunity” to join an EU procurement scheme for medical supplies, including PPE and ventilators, but failed to do so, the European Commission has said.

The statement directly contradicts claims from the UK government that it had not joined the scheme because of a communication mix-up. Yesterday, the foreign office’s top civil servant claimed the UK made a “political decision” to not join the procurement programme, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock later said no such decision had been made.

Here’s what the EU Commission said, via the Sun‘s Brussels correspondent Nick Gutteridge: