U.K. Still Needs Europe for Covid Vaccines, Top EU Official Says
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. has the European Union to thank for sending it enough vaccines to fight its “terrible situation” with omicron cases there increasing by the thousands each day, a senior bloc official said Friday.
“The U.K. is so dependent from Europe for so many things, including for the vaccines,” said Thierry Breton, the internal market commissioner, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “But I wanted today to say to our British friends: Don’t worry, we will continue to deliver what you need.”
The U.K. and the EU have been locked in a post-Brexit battle over the rules governing trade in Northern Ireland, although London signaled that it is open to an interim solution.
The EU is gearing up for the spread of the highly transmissible omicron variant, which could be dominant across the bloc by early 2022. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the bloc triggered an order for another 180 million dose of BioNTech SE vaccine retooled to fight the variant during an EU leaders summit this week.
“We have more than enough” vaccines, Breton said, as the EU faces two pandemics with the Delta variant still raging and the omicron variant spreading. “We will be ready.”
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