Skip to Content

Heathrow Airport London (LHR), Longford, UK. Photo credit: Tomek Baginski

UK lockdown: New Covid variant coincides with no-Brexit deal

The new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in southern England has preceded Brexit with only days before Britain is set to leave the EU. At least 40 countries have since banned air traffic to and from Britain.

Published: December 22, 2020, 9:43 am

    Read more

    London

    But it remains unclear how the more virulent strain of the virus will change the course of the pandemic since the new strain, B.1.1.7 shows 17 mutations all at once, something never seen before.

    Andrew Rambaut, a molecular evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh, said that among the 17 mutations are eight in the gene that encodes the spike protein on the viral surface, two of which are particularly worrisome. These mutations may have increased the virus’ transmissibility by 70 percent.

    In a press conference on Saturday, Patrick Vallance, a British physician, scientist, and clinical pharmacologist who serves as the UK’s Chief Science Adviser, said B.1.1.7 first appeared in a virus isolated on 20 September, and already accounted for about 26 percent of cases in mid-November. “So, in London, over 60 percent of all the cases were the new variant.”

    But Christian Drosten, German virologist did not share their concern. “There are too many unknowns to say something like that,” he responded. Drosten pointed out that the new mutant also carried a deletion in another viral gene, ORF8, that previous studies suggest could reduce the virus’ ability to spread.

    Britain depends on imported EU food and fears about supply shortages have been expressed. One newspaper headlined the looming shortages of fresh produce, including lettuce.

    “If nothing changes, we will will start to see gaps over the coming days on lettuce, salad leaves, cauliflowers, broccoli, citrus fruit — all of which are imported from EU at this time of year,” British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s said in a statement. “We hope UK and French [governments] can come to a solution that prioritizes immediate passage of produce and food,” CNN  reported.

    The closing down of transport routes makes little sense as the horse has already bolted from the proverbial barn, suggesting that the new strain has certainly reached other countries already.

    At the same time, the possibility of a hard no-deal Brexit on December 31 has increased. Without a deal, the normal transfer of goods from and to Britain will end abruptly since no new procedures have been put into place.

    The last round of negotiations on Sunday about a deal that would allow Britain common market access, failed. Fishing rights for EU countries in British waters was the one contentious issue while Britain’s adherence to EU rules if it wants free market access, was the other more important question that still needs to be settled.

    Many Brexiteers believe that EU intransigence on fishing has scuppered the deal, when the matter actually revolves more around Britain’s free access to EU markets with lower working, health or quality standards, also referred to as “non-regression”. Lower standards would obviously give British companies an unfair advantage, which the EU negotiators will not accept.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Giorgia Meloni calls for a naval blockade off Libya

    RomeLike every summer, a massive influx of asylum seekers is spurring on the political discussion in Italy. And the issue is once again grist to the mills of the right-wing opposition. Just a few years ago, Matteo Salvini, then Interior Minister of the Lega, was able to count on the approval of an overwhelming majority of Italians for his rigid measures against illegal immigration.

    Ukrainian human trafficking ring with newborns exposed

    PragueA Czech media portal has uncovered further mafia structures linked to Ukraine. This case is about human trafficking of newborns and outright surrogacy slavery. At least 30 babies have been illegally sold to foreigners in the Czech Republic since 2019 after they were born in Prague by Ukrainian surrogate mothers.

    French PM announces appointment of ‘ambassador for LGBT + rights’

    ParisThe French Prime Minister has warned: "The battle of mentalities is not yet won." Élisabeth Borne announced on Thursday, August 4 that an "ambassador for LGBT + rights" would be appointed "before the end of the year" and that a fund of 3 million euros would be created to finance new LGBT + centers.

    Monsanto and BlackRock are buying up Ukraine

    KievUkraine is being sold off. The mendacious Western struggle for the "soul of Ukraine" is actually for the monopolies, Monsanto, Vanguard and BlackRock - to pick the country apart.

    UN declares war on ‘dangerous’ conspiracy theories: ‘World is not secretly run by elites’

    ParisUNESCO says it is seriously concerned about the increase in "disinformation" and "conspiracy theories". And they plan to put an end to it through a network of informants.

    Warsaw announces massive rearmament

    WarsawPoland, a NATO big-spender already, wants to become the strongest military power in Europe. Massing in lowland plains east of Warsaw, the country is eyeing its traditional place for major battles with Russia.

    What will be the price of Sweden joining NATO?

    StockholmNot all Swedes agree that joining NATO was such a good idea. Jan Milld explained to a Swedish weekly what the move would mean for the country. Milld is a member of the Alternative for Sweden.

    Pharmaceutical companies behind appeal to Swiss Federal Council for monkeypox vaccines

    ZurichBecause the monkeypox vaccination is not yet available in Switzerland, queer organizations are now collecting signatures to petition the government. Has the Swiss health authority underestimated the situation?

    What are the first names of ‘German’ criminals?

    BerlinFacts don't matter: the assessment that foreigners are more criminal than Germans is officially considered to be a "right-wing extremist' notion. By doing so, the problem is never addressed.

    Exclusive: Swedish politician’s Bilderberg attendance exposed through FOI

    StockholmSweden's Minister of Social Affairs Lena Hallengren traveled to the US at the beginning of June to meet globalist politicians and vaccine companies, as well as to attend the Bilderberg Group meeting in Washington DC. The whole thing became an expensive trip for Swedish taxpayers. Hallengren not only chose to fly business class on all flights, but she also stayed in several different luxury hotels.

    Go to archive