The UK and European Commission are working together “to create a win-win situation

After weeks of tensions over Covid vaccine supplies, the UK government and European Commission have said they are working together to improve their relationship over the pandemic.

They said they wanted to “create a win-win situation and expand vaccine supply for all our citizens”.

The Commission earlier proposed tougher export controls on vaccines, amid tensions over AstraZeneca supplies.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that “blockades” were not “sensible”.

The joint EU-UK statement said that “openness and global co-operation” would be key to tackling the pandemic.

The statement comes after a day of heightened tensions, following the European Commission’s unveiling of new guidelines which limit the export of coronavirus vaccines to countries outside the bloc, prompting fears that Britain’s supply could be affected.

Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty

But the two parties have insisted that they are in dialogue.

“We are all facing the same pandemic and the third wave makes cooperation between the EU and UK even more important. We have been discussing what more we can do to ensure a reciprocally beneficial relationship between the UK and EU on Covid-19…

“In the end, openness and global cooperation of all countries will be key to finally overcome this pandemic and ensure better preparation for meeting future challenges. We will continue our discussions.”

At a lunchtime press conference the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, had said that while “member states are facing a third wave” and “not every company is delivering on contract”, it is right for EU states to consider “reciprocity and proportionality” when exporting jabs.

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