The European Union refined its rules on the export of Covid-19 vaccines, giving it a clearer right to block shipments to countries such as Britain with higher inoculation rates and to those not exporting their own vaccine doses. It was reported by BBC.
The move risks stoking post-Brexit tensions with London, which has warned Brussels against “vaccine nationalism”.
The European Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 27 EU members, set out a proposal expanding existing measures that seek to ensure planned exports by drugmakers do not threaten already reduced EU supply.
The granting of export licences will be based on reciprocity and “proportionality” - the epidemiological situation, vaccination rate and access to vaccines in the destination country.
EU officials say export restrictions could also kick in if companies do respect quarterly contracts but backload supplies at the end of the period.
The scheme will also widen the net to include 17 neighbouring countries, including Israel, Norway and Switzerland. Previously exempted, exports to these countries will also need authorisation.
As we reported earlier, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the bloc will not share coronavirus vaccines with other countries until it has "a better production situation in the EU."
"There is quite a bit of pressure on member states to obtain the vaccine for themselves," she told Germany's Funke Media Group over the weekend.
The announcement, which comes as the EU is facing a third coronavirus wave and renewed restrictions on public life, signalled an apparent reversal of the bloc's earlier promises.