Welby criticises EU after trying to control vaccine supplies into Northern Ireland



The Archbishop of Canterbury has added his voice to criticism of the EU after it tried to override part of the Brexit deal to halt Covid-19 vaccines entering Northern Ireland. 

The EU was forced into an embarrassing U-turn on Saturday after its decision to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol sparked outrage in London, Dublin and Belfast.

Article 16 of the Protocol allows parts of the Brexit deal to be unilaterally overridden. The move would have led to checks at the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland on shipments entering the UK.

The UK and EU are locked in a row over vaccine supplies after a shortfall in the bloc caused by production delays at AstraZeneca.

Supply to the UK has not been affected, giving rise to accusations from the EU that it is receiving preferential treatment from the pharmaceutical company.

Archbishop Justin Welby urged the EU to work with others on resolving its supply issues. 

“The European Union was originally inspired by Christian social teaching – at the heart of which is solidarity,” he said on Twitter.

“Seeking to control the export of vaccines undercuts the EU’s basic ethics. They need to work together with others.


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