UK warns European Union not to block exports of Covid vaccine – BBC News

and the government has warned the european union that any attempt to block the export of coronavirus vaccines to the uk would be counterproductive the defense secretary ben wallace told the bbc there's a risk of reputational damage to the eu if it stops vaccines manufactured on the continent from leaving frustration is widespread in some eu countries that they're not receiving the doses they need here's our political correspondent ben wright the rumbling row over vaccine supply has caused tension between the eu and uk here more than half of adults have had their first dose and infection rates are falling but in europe rising cases and slower vaccine take-up has seen restrictions reimposed in some countries last week the european commission warned it could block vaccine exports to countries including the uk unless supplies to europe are increased and today there was no retreat from that threat the leaders will meet this week and they will make an assessment of the current situation about the rollout of vaccines and perhaps make decisions but as the president of the commission said herself everything is on the table but there is no decision despite the cross-channel strain one cabinet minister said the two sides had to work together if you're a country around the world and you see this type of language being deployed by the commission it will be counterproductive and what we know about our manufacture of our vaccine it is a collaborative approach you know the astrozeneca ip was developed in oxford parts of the supply chain in europe some of the supply chains in india and i think you know trying to sort of balkanize or build walls around this would only damage both eu citizens in the united kingdom the government does expect a big drop in vaccine supply next month but insists all adults will be offered a first jab by the end of july the speed of the uk's vaccine rollout has hardened calls from some tory mps for lockdown restrictions in england to be lifted sooner they will be vocal this week when mps get a vote on renewing the government's emergency powers for another six months the coronavirus act was passed at the start of the pandemic covering everything from police detention powers to the furlough scheme the thing is with so many vulnerable people now vaccinated and record progress being made people will be right to ask why the government is still seeking to hang on to these powers although a minority of tory mps might rebel on thursday the vote on extending the law is expected to pass with labor signaling its support too what the vote is this week is about the road map about easing the roadmap is about statutory sick pay is about the ban on evictions all measures that we've pushed for we certainly won't be standing in the way of the government in getting this legislation passed the government says it doesn't want restrictions in place any longer than needed but it also wants this lockdown to be the last that means a cautious approach to reopening no matter what some in the prime minister's own party demand ben wright bbc news

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