Boris Johnson chose to pursue a strategy of giving as many people their first vaccine dose as quickly as possible, in order to give them some protection against the killer virus. The policy has seen a dramatic drop in both infection rates and deaths among the population. However, the UK does not have a stockpile of vaccines and is dependent on the EU for further vaccine imports.
Brussels has recently adopted more stringent regulations governing vaccine exports.
The proposed export ban was jointly refused by EU leaders wanting to avoid a vaccine war.
President Macron backed the EU’s plans, saying it was time to “block all exports”.
He told a press conference on Thursday after a virtual summit of EU leaders: “It’s the end of naivety.
“I support export control mechanisms put in place by the European Commission.
“I support the fact that we must block all exports for as long as some drug companies don’t respect their commitments with Europeans”.
According to the new EU regulations, officials will be able to impose export bans on countries that have either a better record than the EU in vaccinating its population, or those that restrict exports through law or in their contracts with suppliers.
The UK has succeeded in vaccinating 46 people in every 100, compared to the EU average of 13.
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“I think that there is room for dialogue, for discussions, for developing arguments on both sides of the Channel.
“Nobody in Britain, nobody in Europe understands why we are witnessing, according to the news, a stupid vaccine war.
“We are not in war, and we are not enemies. We are allies.”