The European Union is divided over how far to take the vaccine conflict with Britain.
There are hawks led by Germany that have threatened to stop exports of Pfizer’s vaccine, and doves such as Ireland that want to avoid blockades.
Brussels is caught in the middle of the row as many member states flinch from the prospect of a trade war and tit-for-tat export bans of vital medicines. All the while Europe is falling behind on vaccinations and a third wave of the pandemic looms.
While Britain has vaccinated more than 11 per cent of the population, EU vaccinations are way behind at just over 2 per cent, threatening to trigger a major political crisis and possible public unrest in the months ahead.