EU in U-turn over move to control vaccine exports to Northern Ireland

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European commission cites ‘error’ hours after move caused anger on both sides of Irish border

The crisis over vaccine shortages in the EU erupted into a full-scale diplomatic row after Brussels moved to trigger a Brexit deal clause to establish border controls on doses moving into Northern Ireland from the Republic.

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However, within hours the European commission had reconsidered their decision after both Boris Johnson and the the Irish taoiseach Micheál Martin expressed their anger over the move and spoke directly to the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen. Northern Ireland’s first minister, Arlene Foster, had also described it as a “hostile act”.

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