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After outcry, EU reverses plan to restrict vaccine exports through Irish border

40 Comments
By Andy Bruce, Kate Holton and Marine Strauss

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40 Comments
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The outsider, excuse me, the UK wants the best of two worlds. You want some of that asap? Sorry, no can do. Get in line.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

This is old news already. EU has now changed it's position: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-55865539

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm in the UK and I'm getting vaccinated next week - wouldn't be happening if we'd stayed in the EU

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Proof that the EU feels jilted and is acting irrationally and spiteful towards its former mates. The bureaucrats in Brussels need to grow up.

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

The outsider, excuse me, the UK wants the best of two worlds. You want some of that asap? Sorry, no can do. Get in line.

Unfortunately for the EU, the UK appears to be at the front of that line, and it is they who are trying to jump the queue.

I'm in the UK and I'm getting vaccinated next week - wouldn't be happening if we'd stayed in the EU

My parents got the jab a few days ago which was a huge relief to me.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Im glad UK chose to Brexit 4yrs ago..EwwU is just another bloc.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

"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.

You'll be grand when you join the Republic, Arlene.

Your own despicable party will learn to share and compromise, something you didn't do when you held the UK to ransom only a year or two back, a chara.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Northern Ireland's First Minister Arlene Foster

'This is an incredible act of hostility. 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.”

'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.'

To invoke Article 16 of the NI agreement is an extreme folly. Particularly so when the UK has legally-binding agreements with vaccine suppliers, all paid in advance.

It seems to have never occurred to the EU commission such an act would institute a hard boarder between north and south  

Worst still, the negotiated withdrawal agreement the EU commission pushed and insisted that never would there be border between north and south.

However, yesterday that whole principle has come into question over vaccines.

So, the question remains, for what purpose will the EU commission use article 16 for in future?

Then to add insult to injury the EU commission is about to seize shipments from an alternative supplier, 3.5million doses of the Pfizer vaccine from its factory in Belgium, the UK Government contractually paid for, so in effect the EU commission taking full control over vaccine products of European private pharmaceutical industry.

Both EU and UK must step back, count to ten, it is deep breaths time.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I am not a big pharma conspiracies believer, etc...

But I am a realist and when money and profit are concerned no company cannot be trusted.

This is what many countries that preached the old right international markets will supply, blah, blah, blah.

Look at what is happening in this case, look at Canada that no longer had any local production of vaccines of any kind, they suddenly find the promised product isn't arriving, being diverted to higher bidders and are now rushing to build facilities to produce locally.

Japan still retained its local production capabilities so instead of depending on imports it will under license produce it's own needs local.

Time for all countries to wake up and realise when a crisis happens they cannot depend or trust any one or any country other than their own to take care or their people

Sad but true look at what is happening right now.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I am pro EU, but that was despicable. They were too slow ordering vaccines, did not sign a water tight contract and then, rather than negotiate, started threatening and tampering with NI protocols. Shameful behaviour.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Ok not being European I am sort of confused as to why the UK is upset.

Northern Ireland remained part or the EU the rest of the UK didn't so importing into NI as far as I understand wasn't the problem.

The problem as I understand from other news is that the UK is funneling some of their supply through NI instead of directly into the UK bypassing controls and receiving more faster.

Seems to me if this is true the EU has every right to stop exports.

Why would the UK go the long route to import passing through Ireland then Northern Ireland then into the UK if the UK wasn't trying to hide or get more than their alloted share.

Something smells fishy and it isn't the sushi.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Yet more problems which Brexiteers didn't bother to foresee. There'll be more. But hey, the NHS is going to get 350 million pounds a week, right?

1 ( +7 / -6 )

If you don’t understand there is plenty of information out there.

Northern Ireland remained part or the EU the rest of the UK didn't so importing into NI as far as I understand wasn't the problem.

NI is not part of the EU. There were agreements that ensured there would not be a return to a hard border between the ROI and NI.

The problem as I understand from other news is that the UK is funneling some of their supply through NI instead of directly into the UK bypassing controls and receiving more faster.

No.

Seems to me if this is true the EU has every right to stop exports.

Stopping a business fulfilling orders. They can, of course, bring in export restrictions, which is what they have been attempting to do.

Why would the UK go the long route to import passing through Ireland then Northern Ireland then into the UK if the UK wasn't trying to hide or get more than their alloted share.

No, the U.K. is receiving vaccine as ordered, it hasn’t had all that it bought from both Pfizer and Astra-Zeneca. The vaccine received from Astra Zeneca in the UK is made in the U.K., and some of this supply is what the EU wants. There are problems in the supply chain, that the U.K. had in the beginning after the contract was signed, now the EU is experiencing the same difficulties. Both the U.K. and EU have given Astra Zeneca money in order to set up smooth supply chains. The EU signed their contracts three months after the U.K. did and expected everything to be up and running from day 1.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

NI is not part of the EU. There were agreements that ensured there would not be a return to a hard border between the ROI and NI.

However, Irish citizens north of the British border still retain EU citizenship and enjoy freedom of movement which includes travel, work, study and/or live within EU states.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@toasted heretic. True. I see the EU vaccine export ban means Australia won’t get the vaccines they bought. They really need to think this through, they are not doing the EU any favours for the future. If a tit for tat starts they’ll quickly be in trouble. They have handled this crisis appallingly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Using peoples' lives to play political games never ends well...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Best both parties set there political difference aside and simply find a diplomatic compromise.

At the moment its one blaming the other, half a dozen of this and six of the other.

I hope the EU commission notified, Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin, before invoking article 16, if not it would better for all concerned if that never saw the light of day.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

do you know how one can become Northern Irish?

Northern Irish or Northern Irish?

Anyone born in Ulster (that's the entire 9 counties) is Irish and also from the north of Ireland.

Anyone born in the 6 counties can be Irish and/or British. Dual, if they chose. They can call themselves Irish, British, Northern Irish.

Or European, if they identify as Irish citizens. They have all the advantages, as I pointed out upthread, that those who seek to remain British don't have.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The EU in a nutshell, unelected bullies. All downhill from here as others realise just what it has become.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The EU insisted all through Brexit negotiations there must never, ever be a hard border in the island of Ireland, then went and imposed one unilaterally. Utterly unforgivable. Then they claim it was a mistake, that is really taking the piss. It’s like that line from Withnail and I, “We’ve imposed a hard border by mistake”. Now they are preventing other countries from getting their vaccines.

I have spent the last four years supporting and defending the EU, but not this time. Shame on them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hey, zichi - this from the BBC

*People born in Northern Ireland have the right to Irish as well as British citizenship. Those who exercise that right will retain their EU citizenship, something not available to people elsewhere in the UK who may have only British citizenship.*

People travelling on Irish passports will be able to use EU/EEA lanes and e-gates at airports. More fundamentally people with Irish passports keep their right to freedom of movement within the EU. That means they can live, work and study in an EU country without a visa and with no time limit. These rights extend to their spouses and dependent children.

So only people born in NI can claim to be Irish?

In terms of getting an Irish passport outside of the Republic, you mean?

No, but I'd ask for clarification with the embassy here in Tokyo. I believe that it may well be that having one Irish grandparent will qualify you or your brother for a passport.

If you can't get through; this link is helpful

https://www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/japan/passports/top-passport-questions/born-outside-ireland/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Because post-brexit Britain nailed it's covid response /s

I read the Brexit cheerleaders here and it seems pretty comical seizing one scrap of good news as the rest of the country wallows in the unorganized and unmitigated disaster of le leave vote with no freaking plan.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I read the Brexit cheerleaders here and it seems pretty comical seizing one scrap of good news

You seem to have come to a rather hasty and angry conclusion that people who voted for Brexit automatically believe that the government hasn't made a complete mess of the last several years, including their covid response. You'd be wrong. They have been lambasted from all sides, including by 'Brexit cheerleaders'

If by 'one scrap of good news' you mean the apparent success in the securing and delivering of the vaccine then I'm glad you find something that could save thousands of lives to be 'pretty comical'. I'm sure you would prefer that to be a failure too.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I see lots of tears still from the babies who lost the democratic vote to leave the EU and still haven't got over it. Do you still cry daily over ex girlfriends who you split up with 4 years ago?. Get over it, move on and find another globalist undemocratic bloc to enslave you, take away your rights and control your every move if that's what makes you happy, May I suggest a move to Russia or perhaps the Northern part of Korea I heard it is good this time of year.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Zichi:

do you know how one can become Northern Irish?

Only by identifying as such, as there's no such nationality.

As Toasted Heretic points out, anyone born in the six north eastern counties (aka NI) can claim British or Irish citizenship or both. Holding an Irish passport doesn't diminish your Britishness or vice versa, and doesn't need to be declared to anyone.

As TH mentioned, you and your brother do indeed qualify for Irish passports. Fáilte romhaibh! Don't contact the embassy in Tokyo, though, as they'll just refer you to the Dublin passport office. It's currently closed as part of the Level 4 lockdown.

Of less relevance to you and your brother, there is also a Common Travel Area dating back to 1923 between the two countries, allowing respective citizens to travel, live, work and vote freely between the two jurisdictions, which is also a path to that coveted EU citizenship through naturalisation.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"You seem to have come to a rather hasty and angry conclusion that people who voted for Brexit automatically believe that the government hasn't made a complete mess of the last several years, including their covid response. You'd be wrong."

Read the comments above....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I read the Brexit cheerleaders here and it seems pretty comical seizing one scrap of good news as the rest of the country wallows in the unorganized and unmitigated disaster of le leave vote with no freaking plan.

That’s a fact btw. I’m telling you, these people are still blinded by the illusion that life is going to be a bed of roses in post Brexit UK ( or should I say the Divided Kingdom because Scotland,s gonna go sooner than you think ).

If by 'one scrap of good news' you mean the apparent success in the securing and delivering of the vaccine then I'm glad you find something that could save thousands of lives to be 'pretty comical'. I'm sure you would prefer that to be a failure too.

Nobody,s denying the seriousness of the situation. Don’t put words in people’s mouths.

I see lots of tears still from the babies who lost the democratic vote to leave the EU and still haven't got over it. Do you still cry daily over ex girlfriends who you split up with 4 years ago?. Get over it, move on and find another globalist undemocratic bloc to enslave you, take away your rights and control your every move if that's what makes you happy, May I suggest a move to Russia or perhaps the Northern part of Korea I heard it is good this time of year.

Maybe it’s you who should move to Russia or North Korea, since you seem to like to believe in lies. And good job with ruining the future of the younger generations. That’s on you. I hope you sleep well at night.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Rcch,

Comical aren't they. Apparently I'm "angry" yet on the cusp of making a fortune because I'm actually prepared for Brexit and the TVA implications. My ex-business partner, who voted and cheered on Brexit, just went bust in the UK.

Granted nobody could have foreseen covid but here I am laughing at the Brexit cheerleaders on this thread pouncing on what is to be fair the only scrap of good news for the UK post-brexit.

(As brits continue to die and be infected in much greater numbers)

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Madverts

Reality is never easy and you seem to be one of the few with common sense. I wish you good luck for the future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

the eu contract with the anti-virus makers was placed 3 months after the UK placed theirs.

The eu supply problem was caused by failure in a eu factory and not in the two factories in the UK.

Brussels had said it would trigger clauses in the Northern Irish Protocol .

Did the eu even bother to tell the Republic of Southern Ireland what it was planning to do?

Following an outcry in London, Belfast and Dublin,

does not look like they did.

If the previous Prime Minister May hadn't delayed, delayed, delayed the starting of the leave the eu. Things would have been different now for PM Boris.

Instead of handling just Brexit, he also has to deal with covid.

Had we left sooner (instead of having the constant delays from PM May) PM Boris would only have the covid to deal with.

Althou the difference of 3 % between the stayers and leavers votes. I think they should have had another 6 months to properly inform what would happen for a leave vote.

No one expected the UK to be fractured with a eu border spliting part of the UK off from the rest.

To the above posts about irish citizenship.

Since 1 January 2005, if you are born in Northern Ireland, you can claim Irish citizenship if your parent (or parents) are either British or Irish citizens, or one of them has lived on the island of Ireland for at least 3 out of the 4 years immediately before your birth

So anyone born in Northern Ireland, since 1st January 20055, does not have automatic claim to irish citizenship unless they are covered by the above.

Further details can be found here https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/irish_citizenship/your_right_to_irish_citizenship.html

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Read the comments above....

What conclusion do assume would be reached from them?

Apparently I'm "angry" yet on the cusp of making a fortune because I'm actually prepared for Brexit and the TVA implications.

So Brexit hasn't been that bad, eh? You're another poster on the cusp of immense post-Brexit wealth.

Granted nobody could have foreseen covid but here I am laughing at the Brexit cheerleaders on this thread pouncing on what is to be fair the only scrap of good news for the UK post-brexit.

Do you consider the potential saving of many thousands of lives to be a 'scrap of good news'? Will it affect your imminent increase in wealth? Would you prefer more death and less Brexit?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The recent act of the EU to secure vaccine is purely the fault of British-Swedish AstraZeneca behavior. The company decided to reduce delivery to the EU (after receiving billions of Euros to set up production sites also within the UK from them) by more than half(!) but continued to supply other countries, especially UK even from production sites within the EU!

EU politicians are always sensitive about other countries in the world and already confirmed any possible seizure would only be as much as the equivalent to the broken treaty by AstraZeneca.

The published contract, in which deleted sections by AstraZenica were possible to make visible again, showed clearly the position of the EU is correct. And still also plants in the EU produce and export the much more effective BionTech-Pfizer vaccine although there is also much demand within the EU. No export restricions at all.

Overall, any EU country could've ordered separately, no law against that so Brexit had no influence here, but the EU stayed together getting better deals out of it. Law experts stated the EU would win on the breaches of the AstraZeneca contract, but vaccine is needed now and has no time to go through years of conflict. AstraZeneca is a shame in this game, causing even political problems, probably hoping to get a better standing in the UK.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Imagine the EU as the Titanic, and you sort of get the right picture.

The Brits, albeit a bit late, decided to jump ship before hitting the iceberg, and are out in the Cold, but at least they have been able to make a "Decision"... regardless whether it's right or wrong.

For those left within the EU, I sort of feel sorry. Welcome to Collective decision making.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Its frightening how both the EU and the British government think they can just arbitrarily break international law when it suits them (especially as Int law relates to NI. These laws are 'THE' reason why the violence has stopped. Take away the laws or ignore them - the violence comes back. These laws were so hard and painfully established , out of the violence and agreed upon after several years of difficult painstaking negotiations. But both the EU and the British govt think the laws are optional- when they think its in their interest. (Johnson was at this stuff last year also, lets not forget, and only pulled-back because the EU said the Brexit talks would stop. Now the EU was trying it also, until the intervention of the Rep of Ireland government yesterday. If lawmakers don't honour the law how can they expect everyone else to? But to be positive, thankfully the EU has withdrawn this misjudged threat.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Althou the difference of 3 % between the stayers and leavers votes.

1.9%, Big Lad. 62% Remain in Scotland; 55.8% Remain in NI.

No one expected the UK to be fractured with a eu border spliting part of the UK off from the rest.

Careful what you wish for. Unionism bet the farm on getting the hardest of land borders back up again.

They'll betray your loyal @rse in a heartbeat, too, for seats in the Lords.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Did the eu even bother to tell the Republic of Southern Ireland what it was planning to do?

They messed up, aye.

Oh, and it's the Republic of Ireland, a chara.

So anyone born in Northern Ireland, since 1st January 20055,

Will be living in a united Ireland, by that stage. Or maybe a distant galaxy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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