COVID-19: Boris Johnson responds to EU plans for vaccine ‘blockade’ by warning of future trade | Political news

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 COVID-19: Boris Johnson responds to EU plans for vaccine 'blockade' by warning of future trade |  Political news


Boris Johnson has hit back at EU plans to tighten vaccine export controls, saying companies may reconsider investing in countries that impose trade blockades.

The prime minister told the All-Party Liaison Committee that he does not believe blockages of “vaccines or drugs or ingredients for vaccines are reasonable.”

And in another warning, he added: “I would just like to say quietly to anyone considering a blockade or disruption of supply chains, that companies can consider such actions and draw conclusions about whether or not to invest. in the future in countries. where arbitrary blocks are imposed. ”

Mr Johnson was responding to a question from former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt about vaccine nationalism, hours after the European Commission said it was introducing a export authorization mechanism based on “proportionality” and “reciprocity”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “open roads should run both ways”, adding: “The EU has an excellent portfolio of different vaccines and we got doses more than sufficient for the entire population.

“But we need to ensure timely and sufficient vaccine deliveries to EU citizens. Every day counts. ”

The proposals recommend more transparency and reciprocity, but fall short of including a ban on exports to the UK.

The EU said the new regulation would examine whether the destination country restricts its own exports of vaccines or their raw materials “by law or by other means” and also whether “conditions” in the destination country are better or worse than those of the EU “in particular its epidemiological situation, its vaccination rate and its access to vaccines”.

The Prime Minister faces some of his harshest criticism as he answers questions from MPs from all parties on everything from COVID to the economy.

M. JohnsonThe latter’s comments came after he joked Tory MPs at a private meeting that ‘capitalism’ and ‘greed’ were the reasons the UK vaccination rollout has been so successful.

But as he risked stoking tensions with the EU in the midst of his slow deployment of jab, he backed down, adding: “Actually, I regret having said it. Forget what I said. ”

An MP at the meeting said the remarks were a “complete joke” and Mr Johnson spoke of AstraZeneca “being philanthropic in non-profit production”.

“It’s cheap enough to twist the meaning for political gain,” they added.

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