LONDON, Jan 30 — A spat between the United Kingdom and European Union (EU) is brewing Friday regarding the bloc’s newly introduced export controls on the coronavirus vaccine flow to Northern Ireland.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the bloc must “urgently clarify” its intentions after the EU introduced controls on vaccines to be exported to Northern Ireland, Anadolu Agency reported.
According to the EU’s decision, all vaccine suppliers, which have vaccine contracts with the bloc, will have to seek authorisation on their exports.
The exports can be stopped if the EU sees them as a threat to the delivery of vaccines to citizens on time.
Downing Street warned the EU about counter action, expressing “concern” about the move to potentially stop the unimpeded flow of jabs into the region.
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster said the EU’s move was an “incredible act of hostility” that places a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
“The European Union has once again shown it is prepared to use Northern Ireland when it suits their interests but in the most despicable manner – over the provision of a vaccine which is designed to save lives,” Foster said. “At the first opportunity, the EU has placed a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland over the supply chain of the coronavirus vaccine.”