The EU-UK Covid vaccine row explained: What now? – BBC Newsnight

troubled times for a troubled leader and now divisions france and italy pushing for a tough stance on vaccine exports germany and the netherlands keen to keep lines open and they appear to have the upper hand after the uk and the european commission issued a joint statement given our interdependencies we are working on specific steps we can take in the short medium and long term to create a win-win situation and expand vaccine supply for all our citizens a note of diplomacy as eu leaders are asked tomorrow to approve a european commission proposal that could see a ban on the export of vaccines to the uk alarm in the commission over what it regards as a mismatch permission for 43 million doses of vaccines to leave eu shores with very little in return restrictions could be introduced on two grounds reciprocity is a country receiving eu manufactured vaccines restricting its own exports and proportionality is a receiving country in a better or worse position on covid in terms of virus rates and vaccination rates enough there for both sides in the eu debate possible grounds for restrictions because the uk is way ahead of the eu on vaccinations but perhaps no action because the uk is providing supplies to the eu not difficult to see who is in the sight of some in brussels some 10 million doses had been exported from uk from eu to uk and zero doses had been exported from uk to eu so if we discuss reciprocity solidarity and we should say global responsibility so it's clear that we also need to look at those aspects of boris johnson warned the eu that it might scare off pharmaceutical companies if it imposes bans i would just gently point out to anybody considering a blockade or an interruption of of supply chains that uh companies uh may uh look at such actions and uh and and draw conclusions about uh about whether or not it is sensible to make to make future investments in in countries where you know arbitrary blockades are imposed and support for the uk from a german mep from a party in the country's governing coalition if we take a look at the export ban that path is a dangerous path i feel pfizer does receive materials and ingredients from the uk the uk may then place a ban on the export of those substances to the european union which would obviously create a problem you cannot wrap a flag around a vaccine in this modern world it just doesn't work that way an adviser to the eu senses a deal in the air what i think is quite reassuring is that the parties involved are elevating this and taking it away from the very acrimonious dispute around other aspects of the relationship between the eu and the uk it's seen as being really too important to get into the political debate that's been going on elsewhere with a distinct feeling of spring in the air there were signs today the first in a long time of a thor in relations between the uk and the eu for years stuck in their own trenches on brexit the two sides seem to be inching towards a mutual recognition that on vaccines they simply have to work together a showdown by zoom in brussels tomorrow where eu leaders will grapple with just how far to go with a former partner outstripping them on vaccines

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