Laura Kuenssberg on how EU vaccine plans may 'affect' UK
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Laura Kuenssberg has warned the joint statement the European Union and the UK released on Wednesday could still leave doors open for EU interference on the vaccine rollout. The statement outlined how the two sides will work together to create a “win-win situation” to solve the vaccination crisis and avert a blockade. But the catch is that the EU has retained the power to hypothetically prevent vaccine exports to the U.K. in the future under their “export transparency mechanism”, according to the BBC Political Editor.
Speaking on BBC podcast Newscast, hosts Adam Fleming and Laura Kuenssberg explained how the proposed “export transparency mechanism” would extend the criteria that the Commission would use to decide whether the export of vaccines from the EU should be stopped to another country.
Ms Kuenssbery explained how the proposed mechanism included the principle of reciprocity and the principle of proportionality.
Mr Fleming explained: “Reciprocity is whether the importing country is sending an equal amount of stuff to the EU.
“While proportionality is whether the importing country is really far ahead of the EI in its own vaccination programme.”
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But Ms Kuennsberg levelled a severe warning about the system highlighting a loophole that allows the EU to retain huge powers for future vaccine blockades.
She added this “still could, hypothetically at some point in the future affect countries like the U.K. that have gone ahead of the EU (in their vaccination programme).”
Ms Kuenssberg concluded that the potential control the EU could wield on the UK is “a big deal.”
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Ms Kuenssberg’s warning comes amid a vaccination export crisis as the bloc has threatened the U.K. with a possible vaccine blockade.
Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin expressed fears over a possible vaccine war between the U.K. and EU warning eurocrats could endanger the bloc’s jabs rollout by threatening Britain’s supplies.
He said: “If you start putting up barriers, other countries may follow suit in terms of some of those vital raw materials that are required to make the vaccine. If we start that we are in trouble.
“They’re not EU vaccines, these are vaccines paid for by other countries that are manufactured in Europe.”
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British and EU officials have held talks over possibly dividing up supplies if the bloc agrees to drop demands for British-made vaccines to be shipped to the continent.
The compromise is expected to be put before EU leader on Thursday during a video summit.
But a European Commission spokesman focused the issue away from diplomatic tensions and instead pointed towards AstraZeneca not ‘fulfilling it’s contract’.
They said: “This is not about banning vaccine exports. This is about making sure companies deliver on their commitments to the EU.”
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