EU was ready to risk scrapping Good Friday Agreement to get ahead in the Covid-19 vaccine wars!

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THAT the Covid-19 pandemic world crisis has sharpened the contradictions of the capitalist system to the point of vaccine wars and revolutionary explosions is being confirmed on a daily basis.

In the USA, the number of Covid deaths has now reached 443,817 with over 26,308,290 cases so far. The richest capitalist country in the world has the biggest Covid crisis.

In the UK, the US’ closest ally, there have now been 105,571 deaths and 3,796,088 confirmed cases, while in Germany the total of deaths has reached 57,512, with the number of cases confirmed at 2,217,234.

Worldwide the figure is 2,221,640 deaths, with confirmed cases numbering 102,659,554.

It is only in China, a deformed workers’ state, since its 1949 revolution, and a number of other states where there have been workers’ revolutions such as Vietnam and North Korea, that the Covid-19 pandemic has been stamped out by policies that put the needs of the people first, unlike the western capitalist states where it is profits first and people a very poor second.

However, the continuing advance of the Covid-19 epidemic is now causing not just panic, but divisions between the imperialist powers, to the point where vaccine wars between them are under consideration.

Germany, the economic giant of Europe, has been unable to cope with the virus and over the weekend lost its head when it became obvious that its UK ally, now a rival since the UK left the EU, has secured a massive order of vaccines. These vaccines Germany is now desperate to grab.

On Friday night, the EU Commission bureaucrats, driven to desperation that their UK rivals had got ahead of them, and secured a major supply of vaccines, panicked and threw a spanner into its Brexit deal with the UK, risking a renewed war in Ireland in the process

Up till then, the EU had insisted that there could not be a border in Ireland and that the north would have to be half in the EU and half out of it to prevent a border and to protect the Good Friday Peace Agreement that brought about a truce in the liberation war in Ireland.

On Friday night, the EU Commission declared that the border would have to be activated to prevent Britain bringing its vaccines into the UK through the Irish Republic.

The EU Commission’s desperate move was condemned by the Irish government, Sinn Fein and the DUP as one that would wreck the Good Friday Agreement and bring back a renewed war.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin said he first became aware of the EU’s plan for the Irish border when the commission issued a public announcement.

He said he immediately contacted European Commission President Von der Leyen and ‘articulated the very serious implications the move would have’ – and that Von der Leyen ‘took on board’ his concerns and ‘thankfully’ the commission pulled back from its stance.

Martin added that the commission should have spoken to him first and said there were ‘a lot of lessons to be learnt’ from the incident and that issues with the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland needed ‘fine-tuning’.

Acknowledging the tension between the EU and vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca was ‘terrible’, he stressed the need for all sides to ‘calm down’ and ‘dial down the tone’.

Commenting on the EU threat to introduce controls on vaccines to Northern Ireland, Sammy Wilson MP, a Director at the Centre for Brexit Policy said: ‘The cavalier way in which the EU has handled this issue of vaccines shows it couldn’t care less about the interests of the people of Northern Ireland … It is clear that Northern Ireland is just a pawn as the EU seeks to protect itself from the vaccine provision debacle it created.’

The crisis of capitalism is tearing the EU apart and creating the situation for new wars and revolutions.

Working people throughout Europe must organise for revolutionary mass actions to bring down EU capitalism and replace it with the Socialist United States of Europe. This is the only way to prevent vaccine and other wars, by bringing in a planned socialist economy to replace bankrupt European capitalism.