Today, the EU had to reverse their threat of a vaccine blockade between the EU and third countries. Beyond the narratives, there were only a couple of main reasons why they had to embarrassingly UTurn on their threat.
The first reason was the Irish border. To stop the vaccine crossing the Irish border would have meant the EU would have to reopen the future relations agreement and change rules something the EU didn’t want to do.
Secondly, the EU didn’t have a leg to stand on after AstraZeneca signed contracts between different nations. The EU threatened to release their agreement to try to and call AstraZeneca’s bluff, but then AstraZeneca said Checkmate and was willing to release their contracts exposing the EU didn’t have a leg to stand on.
This was also backed up by the EU Commissioners grovelling response to both Boris and the Irish Taoiseach on Twitter.
Message to Boris read: “Constructive talks with Prime Minister @BorisJohnson tonight.”
“We agreed on the principle that there should not be restrictions on the export of vaccines by companies where they are fulfilling contractual responsibilities.”
Message to Taoiseach read: “I spoke to Taoiseach @MichealMartinTD this evening to agree on a satisfactory way to introduce an export authorisation mechanism for COVID vaccines.”