MEPs urge von der Leyen to tackle UK immigration detention of EU nationals

Holding EU nationals in UK immigration centers breaches ‘the spirit of good cooperation’ expected from Britain after Brexit, Romanian MEPs say.

MEPs urge von der Leyen to tackle UK immigration detention of EU nationals

LONDON — A group of MEPs urged European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to press the U.K. to stop holding EU nationals in immigration centers.

At least 30 EU nationals from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Romania have been held in immigration removal centers after being identified by U.K. border officials as intending to work in the country without a work visa, as revealed by POLITICO last week. The Commission said Monday this was a “consular issue” but expressed “concern” over the conditions and length of detention, which in some cases was four days or more.

But in a letter dated Wednesday, eight Romanian MEPs from the Renew Europe group called on von der Leyen and Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič to do more. The Commission should demand clarity from the U.K. government on the number of EU nationals detained at the borders and the reasons for adopting such measures, they wrote.

Brussels should also press London “to refrain from adopting such disproportionate measures on EU citizens and instead follow a more reasonable approach based on good faith and cooperation,” added the lawmakers, who include former Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș and MEP Alin Mituța.

They also described the length and conditions of these centers as reported by some of those EU citizens as “serious impediments in establishing a fruitful relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.”

According to these MEPs, “the detention of often young and low risk EU citizens arriving in the UK for summer jobs and not being yet fully aware of new entry conditions” breaches “the spirit of good cooperation that we would expect” after Brexit.

“We strongly believe that protection of the rights of both EU and UK citizens is a fundamental element of our EU-UK relation, as recognised also by the Withdrawal Agreement and we expect the Commission and the UK to act accordingly,” they wrote.

Responding to the group’s criticisms Thursday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said: “We are cooperating in very much in the spirit and the terms of the agreements that we have with our EU partners and we will continue to do so.”

Source : Politico EU More   

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Mixing coronavirus vaccines linked to more side effects: Study

A range of symptoms including headache and chills were reportedly more prevalent following a mixed regimen.

Mixing coronavirus vaccines linked to more side effects: Study

The first data from the U.K.’s trial on mixing coronavirus vaccines has shown a higher rate of side effects such as headache and chills than standard regimens.

Participants reported more symptoms from the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab followed by the BioNTech/Pfizer jab, and vice versa, than from standard schedules, according to early data from the Com-COV study published in The Lancet late Wednesday. The initial findings looked at the side effects after two doses were administered four weeks apart.

For example, around 10 percent of people reported chills after the second dose of AstraZeneca in the standard schedule. If they had received Pfizer after AstraZeneca, that figure increased to around 40 percent, said Matthew Snape, lead investigator of the Oxford University trial.

The standard Pfizer schedule reported around 25 percent have chills after the second dose, while over 45 percent reported chills with AstraZeneca after Pfizer. A similar trend is seen across a range of symptoms — including fatigue, feverishness, headache, joint pain, malaise and muscle ache.

Snape told journalists this was a “really intriguing finding, and not something necessarily we were expecting to see such a consistency on.”

He said that most of these effects were mild and short-lived. But the study also showed an increase in moderate symptoms with the combinations.

The data also confirmed what was suspected from existing schedules: There are more reported side effects after the first dose of AstraZeneca than the second, and more after the second dose of Pfizer than the first.

The study is also testing side effects and the immune response with a 12-week interval, and is now adding in randomized prophylactic paracetamol versus paracetamol when needed, to advise on reducing these symptoms, said Snape. Data on the immune response from these combinations is expected in June. 

The trial — which has expanded to include vaccines from Moderna and Novavax — has lots of interest globally, Snape said, noting the team has shared its data with national immunization technical advisory groups in Scandinavia, Northern Europe and Canada.

Some countries, including France and Germany, are already administering an mRNA vaccine to young adults who have had a first dose with the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, over blood clots concerns.

Source : Politico EU More   

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