Is the EU getting its “fair share” of vaccine doses? Not according to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who has effectively threatened to block vaccine shipments to Britain unless the UK starts also shipping doses to the EU. She didn’t single out the UK in her remarks, but her meaning was crystal clear: Britain is taking without giving in return.
Europe has exported 41 Million vaccine doses since January, with the largest share (roughly 10 million doses) going to the UK. Britain, meanwhile, has apparently not exported any doses to the EU at all (though the numbers are rather opaque, and the UK doesn’t have an outright ban on vaccine exports in place). This has rankled European leaders, who are already under pressure over the slow pace of their vaccine roll-outs.
It doesn’t help that UK-EU relations have broken down over Brexit. UK entreaties for the EU to act like “grown-ups” ring hollow after Britain has already demonstrated its willingness to break international law whenever convenient. Nevertheless, commentators worry about vaccine nationalism turning into a “vaccine war” without any winners.
Should the EU block vaccine exports unless it ‘gets its fair share’? Is vaccine nationalism making it harder to tackle to pandemic? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers?