European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen has threatened on Wednesday to bloc all vaccines to the UK to protect the bloc’s stockpile.
von der Leyen is preparing to seize control of factories and shipments to the UK under emergency powers, to boost a stockpile of vaccines for the EU.
She has also threatened to block all Pfizer vaccines to Britain, unless the UK made AstraZeneca jabs are sent to the EU.
An angry von der Leyen said, “All options are on the table. We are in the crisis of the centre and I’m not ruling out anything for now because we have to make sure Europeans are vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The quasi-war time EU powers have not been used since the 1970s when the oil crisis hit, and under Article 122 of the bloc’s treaties allows the Commission to seize control of factories, rip up patents and block any exports.
Desperation is mounting across the bloc and von der Leyen told a press conference, “We want to see reciprocity and proportionality in exports, and we are ready to use whatever tool you need to deliver on that.
“We will have to reflect on how to make exports to vaccine producing countries. We are exporting to countries that are themselves producing vaccines, and this is this is an invitation to be open so that you also see experts from those countries coming to Europe.”
She added, “It is hard to explain to our citizens why vaccines produced in the European Union are going to other countries that are also producing vaccines, but hardly nothing is coming back to Britain.”