Week 3 - 29/01/2021

Published on 29 January 2021 at 09:55

AstraZeneca and EU dispute continues

The EU and AstraZeneca have failed to end its dispute over the supply of the Coronavirus Vaccine. The EU has maintained its position, accusing the pharmaceutical firm’s “lack of Clarity” around the delivery of the vaccine, and have sought for the firm to release a copy of the contract for transparency.

While both sides said that talks held on Wednesday night had been “constructive”, they did little to resolve the dispute over the company’s contractual obligation to deliver millions more doses to the EU than it plans to for the first few months of  this year. 

In retaliation the EU have now made it more difficult for vaccines produced in Europe, such as the Pfizer Biotech vaccine which is produced in Belgium, to be exported to the UK.

The British Government and media have accused the EU of playing politics, whilst the EU insit they merely want their contract to be honoured by AstraZeneca 


GameStop Shares Surge 

This week GameStop, a video game retail chain has surged on the stock market this week. The gaming store had planned to close over 450 stores this year, yet this week, the company’s stock (GME) has skyrocketed.


This most recent rise for the 37-year-old chain, is part of a "David and Goliath" battle between an army of unexperienced and relatively new investors, versus those on Wall Street, and seems to have no signs of stopping.


Back in April, GameStop announced widespread closure across their chain. At the time Game Stop shares (GME) could be bought at $3.25 each. Compared to this morning where the share price continues to rise, and currently sits at $347.51 a share. This is just short of a 200% increase. The stock continues to grow with small investors continuing to jump on the trend, in the hope that it will ruin the Wall Street bets that this stock will crash. However, this bet so far has been extremely costly to the seasoned Wall Street investors. 


The amateur investors used apps like Trading212, Robinhood and Revolut to buy shares in GameStop. These apps soon removed the the GME stock yesterday so as to regulate the upward surge. 


Irish Unity Poll

A which was poll carried out by LucidTalk for the Sunday Times, last weekend found that 51% of the 2,392 people surveyed in Northern Ireland would like to see a referendum in the next five years on Irish unity. 44% opposed and 5% had no opinion.


Northern Irish voters also think that there will be a United Ireland within 10 years,  with a margin of 48% to 44%


The 1998 Belfast Agreement enshrines that a Border poll can be called at any time by the Northern Secretary “if at any time it appears likely to him/her that a majority of those voting would express a wish that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland”.


The poll found that 47% was in favour of remaining within the United Kingdom, whereas with 42% in favour of a united Ireland. 


Scottish Independence Referendum will be held if SNP win in May according to Sturgeon 

Nicola Sturgeon has announced that she will hold an advisory referendum on independence if her party wins a majority in May’s Holyrood elections, regardless of Westminster’s consent.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) setting out an 11-point roadmap to achieve another referendum.

Sturgeon told BBC’s Andrew Marr show that: “I want to have a legal referendum, that’s what I’m going to seek the authority of the Scottish people for in May and if they give me that authority that’s what I intend to do: to have a legal referendum to give people the right to choose. That’s democracy. It’s not about what I want or what Boris Johnson wants.”

This new approach, moves beyond Johnson’s repeated refusal to table a second vote, the roadmap states that if the SNP takes office after May, it will request from the UK government a section 30 order, which under the Scotland Act 1998 allows Holyrood to pass laws normally reserved to Westminster.

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