Northern Ireland border checks stop after UK-EU row

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The European Union revised its measures looking to limit exports to Northern Ireland on January 29. The EU has made the decision to control exports of COVID-19 vaccines into Northern Ireland by overriding sections of the Brexit deal. 

This decision sparked great anger from politicians in Belfast. In fact, Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster perceives the move as “an incredible act of hostility” by the EU to make reference to Article 16 of the Northern Irish Protocol, which enables Britain and the EU to take autonomous action in the case of an unexpected negative effect coming from the agreement.

However, Brussels has made it clear it will “ensure that the Ireland/North Ireland Protocol is unaffected.” European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis explained that companies producing vaccines will now need to be “much more transparency”. “Companies applying for export authorization will now have to provide information on their export destinations, quantities and so on for a period of three months prior to entering into force,” he added at EU press conference.


The change follows a dispute between the EU and Astrazeneca, who said it would not be able to supply the European Union with the previously agreed-upon number of doses. This infuriated the Brussels, which resulted in the announcement that it will restrict exports of vaccines made on the continent. 

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