EU ‘made a mistake’ over vaccines, Gove says

EU 'made a mistake' over vaccines, Gove says
Gove says EU didn't consult us or our friends in Dublin before triggering Article 16.
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: The European Union (EU) recognised it “made a mistake” in triggering an emergency provision in the Brexit deal to control coronavirus vaccine exports, the Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has said.

Mr Gove said he was “confident” of the UK’s vaccine supply and said its programme would continue as planned.

He said the UK was “on track” to deliver 15 million doses by 15 February.

Gove’s comment about ‘EU’s mistake’ comes after the EU reversed a decision which could have seen checks at the Irish border amid a Covid vaccine row.

Mr Gove said he had spoken with Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission vice-president, and both had agreed “we need a reset” and to put the people of Northern Ireland first.

He said the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had spoken to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and it was made clear that “supply would not be interrupted so we can proceed with our plans”.

The EU said on Friday that it would trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol – which allows the UK and EU to choose to suspend any aspects they consider are causing “economic, societal or environmental difficulties” – before later reversing the decision following condemnation from Dublin, London and Belfast.

Simon Coveney, the Irish Republic’s foreign minister, said in a tweet the protocol was a “hard-won compromise” and was “not something to be tampered with lightly”.

The move came amid a deepening dispute over delays to the distribution and production of Covid vaccines across the EU.

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