Taoiseach urges EU not to fight UK over vaccines by 'blocking' their supply

Taoiseach urges EU not to fight UK over vaccines by 'blocking' their supply

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has urged the EU not to go to war with the UK over vaccines as the relationship between the two unions continues to waver.

Major Covid-19 vaccine supply issues have been plaguing the EU for the last few weeks, and a war of words has broken out between the bloc and Britain, whose vaccine roll-out has been going swimmingly by comparison.

On Wednesday, EU Commission President Usula von der Leyen threatened that the EU may start blocking vaccines from being delivered to countries with high vaccination rates, such as the UK, where more than 25 million have received a jab.

"We are exporting a lot to countries that are themselves producing vaccines and and we think this is an invitation to be open, so that we also see exports from those countries coming back to the European Union.

Martin hit out at Ms von der Leyen's comments though, urging the EU not to get into a fight with the UK.

"I don't personally like blocking," he said.

"I will articulate my views at the EU Council meeting but I think the more we keep the situation open, the better all-round ultimately.

"What has emerged essentially is, in terms of the supply chain, it is Europe that has lost out.

"AstraZeneca would say that the sites they had earmarked for the production of vaccines for Europe just didn't yield. There was a reduction of yield from those factories."