Cooperation with EU very important: UK PM

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (R) talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson before their meeting in Brussels, Belgium. (File)

London, (Asian independent)¬†UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that cooperation between the country and the European Union (EU) is “very important” to fight the coronavirus pandemic, amid the ongoing vaccines export row between the two sides.

Johnson made the remarks on Wednesday during the Prime Minister’s Questions at the House of Commons as tension between the UK and the EU over vaccines supply remains high, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Prime Minister said he doesn’t believe blockades “are sensible”, adding that the long-term damage done by blockades can be “very considerable”.

Anyone considering a blockade may want to think about how companies would view a country where such things are imposed, he said.

Asked if the UK government would consider a “careful and proportionate retaliation” if the EU decides to ban the export of vaccines to the country, Johnson said “we will do everything that is necessary” to make sure that Britons get their vaccines.

On Wednesday, the European Commission proposed tougher controls on coronavirus vaccine exports.

According to the plan, any shipment would be assessed on the destination country’s rate of vaccinations and vaccine exports.

The plans stop short of a ban but could still trigger tensions with the UK.

The EU has accused British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca of failing to honour its contract to supply vaccines to the bloc’s countries.

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