‘Why would they do that?’ Outrage as study links Covid deaths and BREXIT voters

WHO warns of 'over 500k' Covid deaths in Europe by spring

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Research by Ludovic Phalippou of the University of Oxford and Betty H.T. Wu of the University of Glasgow appears to show a direct correlation between Brexit-voting districts of the UK and those that have the highest rate of fatalities from COVID-19. According to the research, the boroughs of Boston, Great Yarmouth, South Holland, and Hartlepool, for example, have the fourth highest fatalities from the virus in the UK and the biggest share of the vote for Brexit, with all four districts voting more than 75 percent for Leave in 2016.

By contrast, the 20 boroughs with the lowest death rates all voted heavily for Remain.

Speaking to Express.co.uk about the findings, Conservative MP David Jones described the study as “a very odd exercise to do in the first place”, questioning, “why would they do this?”

The MP for Clwyd West, who is also Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group, said: “I think that further study is required before we can draw any conclusions from it.

“It’s a very odd exercise to do in the first place.

“Someone must have sat down and thought, ‘I’ll see whether people who voted Brexit are more likely to catch Covid’.

“Why would they do this? It would never have occurred to most people.”

The authors of the study claimed that those who were swayed by the arguments for Brexit were also more likely to reject Covid safety measures, such as vaccination or mask-wearing.

Speaking to Euronews, one author, Mr Phalippou said: “There is a group of people in the population who just rejects any official advice, any mainstream advice, any expert advice.”

However, Mr Jones questioned the basis for this, noting the UK’s role in “leading the field” in vaccinations since our departure from the EU.

He said: “When you look at the vaccine rollout, the UK has always led the field, and now we’re leading the field in the booster campaign.

“So if they’re suggesting that voting for Brexit makes you ill, which is what they may possibly be doing, I don’t think it is borne out by the fact that the UK outside the EU has done a lot better in terms of vaccine rollout than the EU itself has done.

“I really wouldn’t like to speculate at all as to any reason of what the figures apparently show.

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“It may well be that further studies are required – if people really think it’s a good idea to do such a study.”

Matt Warman, Conservative MP for Boston and Skegness, told Euronews that the high death toll in his district was likely due to a range of factors, including its relatively large elderly population.

The Sun’s Political Editor Harry Cole also hit out at the research, calling it “bottom feeder analysis”.

Responding to the study on Twitter, the journalist wrote: “Bottom feeder analysis.

“They are driven so mad by Brexit they can’t see how grim and stupid this looks/is.

“Once credible people associated with BFB (Best for Britain) should cut ties from this clown school.”

Meanwhile, other Twitter users agreed, with one, Dylan, writing: “My God you’ve dropped the ball on this one folks. Lordy…”

Another, Seoirse Duffy wrote: “We have known that the virus has been disproportionately killing the elderly and the poor for a while but thanks for putting a nice Brexit-y filter on it, didn’t know I needed it.”

A third, Ganesh, wrote: “Definitely a correlation between people who make posts like this and being an absolute bore.

“FYI and this really has no relevance at all five years after the vote – I voted Remain.”

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