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Boris Johnson fights Macron, Merkel and VDL as Brussels vaccination plan rolls out | Politics | News

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Boris Johnson appears to have outsmarted Brussels and senior EU officials including Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel amid a tense clash between the two sides. Mr Johnson has recruited key member states as allies within the EU to push back against the European Commission and Ursula von der Leyen’s plan to block vaccine exports to the UK. Both Mr Macron and Ms Merkel have backed the EU plan which could reach 20% of the UK’s vaccine supply.

However, Britain has “recruited” key allies in Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland – all of whom are urging Brussels to withdraw.

The Daily Telegraph’s deputy political editor Lucy Fisher told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “We are moving into a pretty tense week with the EU.

“This is a subject that will be debated at the European Council summit on Thursday.

“It should be noted that there is no consensus in the bloc on how to deal with this threat of blockade, or what the Mail on Sunday calls” the UK’s taking doses hostage. “

JUST IN: Lisa Nandy warns EU NOT to play games with vaccine export bans

She continued: “France and Germany seem to support the threat from the presidents of the European Commission.

“But Boris Johnson seems to have done a good job recruiting allies in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland – all of whom are much more reluctant to engage in this trade war.”

Earlier in Sky News, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said any plans to deny vaccine exports to the UK would be extremely damaging to the bloc which prides itself on “open trade” and subsequent contracts .

Mr Wallace said the European Commission and Ursula von der Leyen “know” that the world is watching and that if the EU starts to “shell out” the contracts it has with third countries, it will destroy other agreements. worldwide.

Ms von der Leyen said: “This is the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfill your contract with Europe before you start supplying other countries.

“We have not received anything from the British, while we are providing them with vaccines.”

It immediately received the support of the French Minister of European Affairs.

Clément Beaune told AFP that Europe must “defend its interests”, adding: “We need a principle of reciprocity: to provide others if they supply us in accordance with signed contracts”.

The UK government has responded to threats from the EU of an export ban, saying the move would be “illegal”.



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