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Coveney calls EU's abandoned plan to stop vaccines entering NI 'tension we could have done without'

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Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney  (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

PA

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney (Julien Behal Photography/PA)

Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said the EU's botched plan to block vaccine exports into Northern Ireland has "created tension that we could have done without".

Mr Coveney blamed "some clever technician or lawyer" in the European Commission for the proposal to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol agreement that would have temporarily nullified the post-Brexit deal to ensure an open border on the island.

The move infuriated governments in Belfast, Dublin and London and prompted a series of phone calls between the Taoiseach Micheál Martin and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday night, before the EU confirmed that it would not invoke Article 16.


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