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EU diplomat summoned to Foreign Office amid coronavirus vaccine row

By Harriet Line and David Hughes, PA

Boris Johnson has hit back at Brussels over a claim by the European Council president that the UK imposed an “outright ban” on coronavirus vaccine exports.

The Prime Minister told MPs that the UK has not “blocked the export of a single Covid-19 vaccine” as he sought to correct the suggestion by Charles Michel.

A senior EU diplomat was summoned to the Foreign Office earlier on Wednesday over the row, and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has written to Mr Michel seeking to correct the record.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson said: “The whole House can be proud of the UK’s vaccination programme, with over 22.5 million people now having received their first dose across the UK.

“We can also be proud of the support the UK has given to the international Covid response, including the £548 million we have donated to Covax.

“I therefore wish to correct the suggestion from the European Council president that the UK has blocked vaccine exports.

“Let me be clear: we have not blocked the export of a single Covid-19 vaccine or vaccine components.

“This pandemic has put us all on the same side in the battle for global health; we oppose vaccine nationalism in all its forms.”

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