Coronavirus: Britain plans to offer 3.7 million Covid vaccines to Ireland, and there is a risk of further tensions with the EU

The UK plans to offer 3.7 million Covid-19 vaccines to the Republic of Ireland to widen the gap with the EU.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove, and Northern Ireland’s Secretary Brandon Lewis are said to have met privately to discuss the plan, which they see as essential to ensure that lockdown restrictions in neighboring Northern Ireland can be lifted with the reduced risk of border crossings triggering a third wave of infections after the Sunday Times.

In the Republic of Ireland, transmission rates are currently significantly higher. 610 new cases were registered on Saturday, compared with 138 in Northern Ireland.

Delivering bumps to Dublin, however, would be the first time Britain has sent deliveries to an EU nation and is “an eye catcher for Brussels” according to a cabinet minister quoted by it Sunday Times.

The EU’s response to the introduction of vaccines has been far less smooth than the UK. The bloc threatened to suspend exports of vaccines or key ingredients to catch up and protect its member states.

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