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Iran Press TV

Ireland denies UK vaccines jab offer

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 28 March 2021 5:44 PM

Ireland has firmly denied the UK has offered to supply the country with excess Covid-19 vaccine jabs following a report to that effect in a major British newspaper.

The Sunday Times (March 28), reported that the UK was preparing to offer 3.7 million vaccines to the Republic of Ireland, a move which could inflame tensions with the European Union (EU).

The paper quoted a cabinet source as claiming the idea was both "good politics" in addition to addressing public health concerns in British-controlled Northern Ireland.

The same source claimed the plan constitutes a "poke in the eye for Brussels" in so far as it disrupts EU unity.

The Sunday Times story gained some credibility after Northern Ireland's First Minister, Arlene Foster, said the idea of exporting vaccines to the Republic of Ireland was a "runner".

Speaking to the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ, Foster, who is also the leader of the pro-British Democratic Unionist Party, claimed she had raised the idea with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in recent conversations and that she would be "making that point again" when they next meet.

However, the Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, has denied any knowledge of a vaccines export offer from the UK.

Also speaking to RTÉ on Sunday (March 28), Coveney admitted the Irish government would be "very interested" in talking to the UK about the export of spare Covid-19 jabs.

"There may well be excess [British] vaccines at some point in the future but I don't think we're realistically looking at that for many, many weeks yet", Coveney said.

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