Glad you’re getting around to addressing specific’s in this highly complex issue, Krispy. Here’s my take.
Your main contention appears to be that the British Government of the day (the crucial time frame encompasses at least three separate Administrations 1987, 1993 and 1996) didn’t do enough to prevent the spread of nvCJD to other countries. OK, lets consider that. I’ll do it by analogy (because of the subjects complexity. I hope this is easier for casual observers to grasp yet, at the same time, is not wholly simplistic):
A city adjacent to where you live finds itself at the heart of some new, not yet understood epidemic and is researching the origin, how the disease is transmitted and how fundamental counter-measures need to be to eradicate the disease (three related issues, note). The city notifies the world of the situation but doesn’t know yet what should be done to address the epidemic internally, let alone what to do externally.
You know, because results of the research are in no way withheld, that for some time the scientists are effectively shooting in the dark in experimenting and trying to piece the whole picture together before they take appropriate remedial action that, on the current state of their knowledge, will deal with the epidemic.
What do you do at that point – you don’t say “Great, they’re looking into it so it should be OK to visit” Nah.
However as more and more evidence comes to light, the focus of the research becomes increasingly fundamental and the initial precautions (including export bans) are now perceived to be inadequate. Again, this information is out there in the wider community (who now have enough information at their disposal to make informed decisions about how to react to the disease) and all the city’s immediate neighbours take appropriate action (based on what is known about the disease) to prevent it spreading to their own areas. The city itself is subject to the same legally enforced action taken by its neighbours
So what do you do now, Krispy. All the city’s neighbours have taken precautionary action (as has the city), the city itself is still researching the origin, transmission and appropriate remedial action but nothing yet is scientifically established and the disease is still ‘out there’ – you want to visit ? Nah
Eventually, the city deals with its problem and has no trace of the disease (it took a long time but, finally, the science was done and appropriate action taken) yet those neighbours who continued to visit while the research was being done find they are now diseased. Who’s to blame for the spread ?
The answer probably lies in the political processes of a number of Governments yet, at the same time, we were (collectively) dealing with a late twentieth century phenomenon on which little information was known. As more information (scientifically proven and otherwise) did come to light it was put into the public domain. Government may have acted slowly but the information was there for all to see.
On a legal point, there is nothing, IMHO (although International Law isn’t my strong suit), to prevent any country taking legal action against the UK Government for ‘causing’ the spread by negligent action save they don’t have the grounds. And I think it’s safe to assume that if blame can be put at someone else’s door, politicians wouldn’t be overly shy about doing so.
Hopefully, we learn the lessons and don’t repeat the errors.
Apologies for the analogy, I just wanted (to try) and make the complexity comprehendible for casual viewers.