Secret talks, which began last Saturday and were led by ex-Eu Ambassador Tim Barrow, helped bring back trust, the newspaper said, citing senior diplomatic sources. Two sources said that Barrow’s appointment was key to reaching the consensus.
A spokesman for the European Commission reportedly confirmed that the talks were ongoing, but declined to comment on their content.
The announcement comes after the EU issued new regulations on Wednesday, which banned exports to countries, which have high vaccine coverage or limit their own exports. The UK has given out more vaccine shots per 100 residents that the EU27 on average and its contract with UK-Swedish AstraZeneca biotechnology company insists that the vaccines made at UK plants should be supplied to the UK first.
The EU had threatened the UK that it would block the export of a certain amount of AstraZeneca vaccines made in the Netherlands. A Dutch diplomat told the Politico outlet that the Netherlands was prepared to block the exports if the commission issued the decision to do so.
On Wednesday, both the EU and the UK said they were working to “ensure a reciprocally beneficial relationship between the UK and EU on Covid-19”.
Under the new agreement, the EU is expected to remove its export ban on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to the UK and the UK will agree to give the EU the Dutch-made Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.
According to The Times, some UK ministers believe that the country would still have been able to carry out the vaccination plans even if scheduled shipments from a plant in the Netherlands were blocked.
However, the EU countries are not the only ones limiting or delaying exports. India delayed the shipment of around five million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to the UK this month, which forced the government to postpone the first doses to under-50s.