COVID-19: EU withdraws plans to control exports of coronavirus vaccines into Northern Ireland – sources

The EU has withdrawn its plans to control the exports of COVID-19 vaccines into Northern Ireland, according to Sky sources.

A statement is expected shortly.

Brussels on Friday triggered Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol that forms part of the Brexit withdrawal deal.

By doing so, the EU tried to stop Northern Ireland being used as a back door to move coronavirus vaccines from the bloc into the rest of the UK.

But the move sparked anger among Northern Ireland’s politicians and was also criticised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Stormont’s First Minister Arlene Foster described the EU move as an “incredible act of hostility” that places a “hard border” between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic over the vaccine supply chain.

The controversy comes amid an EU row with vaccine maker AstraZeneca over delays in the delivery of doses to the 27 members of the bloc.

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