Keeping vaccines in Europe

Sir, – The UK foreign secretary Dominic Rabb is “surprised we’re having this conversation” in reference to the European Union threat to introduce emergency controls on Covid-19 vaccine distribution outside the EU.

This proposed stance from the EU is in response to the fact that millions of doses are leaving the EU to go to countries which are not allowing vaccines to be sent back to the EU.

The chief recipient of these supplies is the UK, which has received more than 10 million EU-manufactured jabs, representing, as of March 17th, more than one third of all vaccines administered in the UK.

British prime minister Boris Johnson maintains that the UK “has not blocked the export of a single vaccine or vaccine component”.

No evidence has, or is, being offered to support this statement and nor has any formal communication issued from the UK government regarding its specific performance in vaccine exports.

Unfortunately, and given Mr Johnson’s well-known loose relationship with the truth, it is now appropriate that the EU prioritise its citizens and augment vaccine supply across the European bloc with immediate effect.

Should such a move remain a surprise to Mr Rabb – a vocal exponent of unilateral action by the UK in contravention of the Brexit agreement – we can only assume he’s led quite a sheltered life to date.

– Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.